Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#61  Postby campermon » Apr 13, 2020 7:12 am

jamest wrote:

Our governments have FORCED their people to isolate in their houses in The West,...


I'm not being forced to stay home by the government. The government, and other sources, have put forward compelling arguments that isolating is the best strategy to safeguard the nation. I agree with these arguments.

The virus is what has FORCED me to isolate.

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#62  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 7:56 am

dp
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#63  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 8:00 am

Matt_B wrote:
Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
Hermit wrote:
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.

Thinking of Australia and the USA, but also - albeit to a less extent - mixed economy social democracies, I sometimes wonder: When a business tycoon dies, who inherits his/her members of parliament/congress/bundestag/...?


For a semi-serious answer, it's more a case of leasing than ownership.

Politicians are generally only beholden to their backers so long as they're funding the next campaign for re-election.

The funds never run dry for as long as there are business tycoons around. Also, in the business world there is no distinction between lease, hire purchase and outright ownership as far as profit making is concerned. Having leased, bought via hire-purchase and owned trucks outright I found the distinctions merely technical, mostly in connection with the ATO, rather than fundamental.

More generally speaking, OliverK's separation of functions, as in capitalism's function being "promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator" and government's function being the "regulation of capitalist activity to limit social or environmental harms, or direct service provision" looks good on paper, but does not reflect reality all that well.

Looking at Australia, for instance, governments do not regulate in an even-handed manner. They are biased in favour of capitalism. So, when it comes to regulating a decent minimum wage, unemployment benefits and pensions they put the brakes on. Sing along with me: "The economy cannot afford it." This does not seem to apply to executives. Then the mantra becomes "If we don't pay them market rates, they'll go somewhere else. Brain drain!" Corporate taxes? A race to the bottom. Governments cite "Capital flight". Tax concessions and outright subsidies for businesses? "If we don't do as they like in Victoria they'll build their factory in Queensland."

For fuck's sake, our federal and state governments don't have the backbone to tell Adani it can't dig giant holes in the landscape, take the lion's share of scarce water resources west of Queensland's dividing range or blow a shipping channel through the Great Barrier Reef. It's good for the economy, don't, cha know? Not even the loyal opposition, the supposed advocates of social democracy, could bring itself to do that. Neither its left nor its right wing.

Our government is beholden to the so called wealth creators. Now the question arises: "Who is the wealth good for?" I hope you are ready for the news. It's not good. Ignoring the fact that almost all of the mining industry and a great deal of industry in general is overseas owned, meaning profits get exported, the remainder gets distributed quite unevenly. The rising tide has stopped raising all boats in the early 1980s. Have a look at the statistics in chart form:

Image
(From the ABC Australia at risk of US-style inequality and dead end jobs, warns ACTU)

Image
(From the ABC Australia at risk of US-style inequality and dead end jobs, warns ACTU)

Image
(From ACOSS: Inequality in Australia 2018 HTML)

Image
(From ACOSS: Inequality in Australia 2018 HTML)

In capitalist countries capitalists create wealth - for themselves and governments regulate in favour of the owners of the capital. This is not only true about Australia. It is also true about the USA and most European countries. The four Scandinavian countries are exceptions rather than the rule, and even there the record is somewhat spotty since the end of the 1960s.

The proverbial adage obtains: He who pays the piper calls the tune. Have a look at who has the money to pay the piper.

Image
(From ACOSS: Inequality in Australia 2018 HTML)

Image
(From Roy Morgan: Wealth inequality in Australia is getting worse)
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#64  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 8:31 am

Yes, it's not really working as it should.

Partly, it's because people have lost sight of what governments' proper role is (aided by well-funded campaigns by the 1% to foster cynicism about the worth of government). As long as governments behave like the 1%'s bitch, and the 99% re-elect them then we're stuck with it. It's also hard to tighten rules against corruption (in which I include corporate funding of politicians generally) when those who take the bungs write the rules.

Maybe this pandemic opens some eyes. Not holding my breath, though.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#65  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 9:16 am

OlivierK wrote:Yes, it's not really working as it should.

Partly, it's because people have lost sight of what governments' proper role is...

Governments are working precisely as they should: to preserve and maintain the structures they are appointed or elected to administer. That has been their "proper" rôle since time immemorial. Those structures may be feudal, capitalistic, oligarchic, tyrannous or any other; The primary task of their respective governments remains the same.

Your insistence on limiting the function of capitalism to being a wealth creator and government to regulator is naïve to the point of being plain wrong. In capitalist countries the so called wealth creators regulate what a government does and the governments are their enablers. Far from being two separate functions, they are fundamentally interconnected - and profoundly biased in favour of the owners of the means of production.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#66  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 10:42 am

Yes, you're talking is, and I'm talking ought (from my own perspective, obviously).

Edit: also, your take on what I'm "insisting on" is a misrepresentation of my position.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#67  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 12:49 pm

OlivierK wrote:Yes, you're talking is, and I'm talking ought.

Arguing about what is from the standpoint of what ought to be is a well known logical fallacy. Surely, you must know that. In case you don't, please avail yourself to the readily available resources of the internet. The relevant article provided by Rational Wiki could serve as a useful starting point. An excerpt from it:
The is-ought problem ... deals with an apparent logic gap between statements of what "ought" to be, following statements regarding what "is". The first often following the second without any kind of explanation regarding why they are logical or correct.


OlivierK wrote:Edit: also, your take on what I'm "insisting on" is a misrepresentation of my position.

I'm always happy to be corrected. In my defence I can only go by what people write, not by what they didn't. So far I have not noticed anything you wrote, apart from "that government and capitalism both have roles, and that those roles are distinct". You defined those distinct roles as "promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well" for capitalism 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" for government.

Feel free to point out the alleged misrepresentation. If you succeed, I will apologise without hesitation, misgivings or clausulations. Be aware, though: You will need to point to some part of any of your posts in which you have allowed that the function of capitalism is not limited to being a wealth creator and the function of government is not limited to being a regulator.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#68  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 13, 2020 3:02 pm

In the USA the idea is that the majority cannot, by virtue of greater numbers, violate the rights of the minority. Democracy ends when the rights of the few are lessened. Someone once called it “the tyranny of the majority”. Granted, the USA is not a democracy, but rather a constitutional republic, so perhaps the USA isn’t a good example.

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#69  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 4:33 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:...the USA is not a democracy...

Can of worms opened. What is a democracy? The US does not elect its head of state. It elects members of the College of Electors who do that. The UK and Australia do not elect the heads of their state either. They are monarchies. long live the Queen! They don't even elect their respective Prime Ministers. And the UK does not even have a formal document known as "The Constitution".

So, do we really want to dive down the rabbit hole of discussing what democracy is, or can we just accept that our nations adhere to some vague notion of democratic processes? At least all three I mentioned elect representatives of the respective lower houses by popular vote.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#70  Postby GrahamH » Apr 13, 2020 8:18 pm

jamest wrote:
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.
First, the world economy is not shut down, it is temporarily constrained but still operating. People are still spending. Many are still working.

OECD forecasts reduced growth for 2020:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51706225

China production fell 13.5% in Q1.

It's bad, but it is very far from a total shutdown of the world economy.


As for what consequences recession may have on death rates it seems it may increase longevity.

During a recession as unemployment rates rise, contrary to reason, death rates drop. 

https://fortune-com.cdn.ampproject.org/ ... y-rates%2F
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#71  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Apr 13, 2020 8:21 pm

Democracy isn't the problem. Deregulation of powerful private influence into democracy is the problem.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#72  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 8:24 pm

Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:Yes, you're talking is, and I'm talking ought.

Arguing about what is from the standpoint of what ought to be is a well known logical fallacy. Surely, you must know that.

Sorry, Hermit, just about to head off for my morning walk, and didn't read further than this. I fucking know it's a fallacy to equivocate is and ought, but it's not a fallacy to offer an opinion on what ought to be, which is what I was doing.

You're conflating it with an "is" argument, not me, which is why I also pulled you up for misrepresenting what I wrote. In case I wasn't clear before, either in what I wrote, or when I objected to your reading of it (both entirely possible), then I hope I am now.

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#73  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 11:12 pm

Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:Yes, you're talking is, and I'm talking ought.

Arguing about what is from the standpoint of what ought to be is a well known logical fallacy. Surely, you must know that. In case you don't, please avail yourself to the readily available resources of the internet. The relevant article provided by Rational Wiki could serve as a useful starting point. An excerpt from it:
The is-ought problem ... deals with an apparent logic gap between statements of what "ought" to be, following statements regarding what "is". The first often following the second without any kind of explanation regarding why they are logical or correct.


OlivierK wrote:Edit: also, your take on what I'm "insisting on" is a misrepresentation of my position.

I'm always happy to be corrected. In my defence I can only go by what people write, not by what they didn't. So far I have not noticed anything you wrote, apart from "that government and capitalism both have roles, and that those roles are distinct". You defined those distinct roles as "promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well" for capitalism 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" for government.

Feel free to point out the alleged misrepresentation. If you succeed, I will apologise without hesitation, misgivings or clausulations. Be aware, though: You will need to point to some part of any of your posts in which you have allowed that the function of capitalism is not limited to being a wealth creator and the function of government is not limited to being a regulator.

I'll give you a longer answer in an hour or two, but I'll note in passing that you've quoted me saying that the government is not limited to being a regulator in your own post, as it happens.

Edit:
OK, I had a few minutes, so I went back in the thread, and the very post before the one where you claimed I was insisting on a bunch of stuff I hadn't said, let alone insisted on, was this:
OlivierK wrote:Yes, it's not really working as it should.

Partly, it's because people have lost sight of what governments' proper role is (aided by well-funded campaigns by the 1% to foster cynicism about the worth of government). As long as governments behave like the 1%'s bitch, and the 99% re-elect them then we're stuck with it. It's also hard to tighten rules against corruption (in which I include corporate funding of politicians generally) when those who take the bungs write the rules.

Maybe this pandemic opens some eyes. Not holding my breath, though.

Note the first sentence, where I clearly make a distinction that the "is" of how governments like ours are working is not, in my view, how they "ought". The rest of the post expands on why that might be, including a view that the cause of that situation is much along the lines that you yourself suggest regarding corporate influence over democratic institutions.

But in general, I don't insist that the private sector's role is limited to wealth creation (although I do think that wealth creation is within the remit of the private sector). The private sector also provides social capital via employment in general, and ancillary benefits such as welfare roles through paid sick and holiday leave (largely to the minimum extent required by regulation, but sometimes in excess of those), and sponsorship of other social goods (such as community events, the arts, and sport).

And absolutely I don't think the role of government is limited to regulation. Sure, I've said that regulation is government's job, in particular with regard to requiring the pricing in of externalities to corporate activity, but I've never said that this is their only role. Plainly government has other roles including direct service provision in areas like education, health, transport, justice, defense, and welfare, and responsibility for applying and collecting taxes to fund that service provision. This is so obvious that it barely requires stating, but nevertheless I did explicitly state it, and you quoted me doing so.

tl;dr version:

While I said that the corporate sector in a mixed economy drives wealth creation, I didn't say that the role of capitalism was limited to that role alone. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

While I said that regulation to price in externalities is a government responsibility, I didn't say that that's their only role, nor that regulation is their only role. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#74  Postby Hermit » Apr 14, 2020 3:02 am

OlivierK wrote:While I said that the corporate sector in a mixed economy drives wealth creation, I didn't say that the role of capitalism was limited to that role alone. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

While I said that regulation to price in externalities is a government responsibility, I didn't say that that's their only role, nor that regulation is their only role. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

Right. I unreservedly acknowledge that you never insisted on limiting the function of capitalism to being a wealth creator and government to regulator. I was wrong. My assertion that you did is a misrepresentation of your position, and I withdraw it. Apologies.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#75  Postby OlivierK » Apr 14, 2020 6:13 am

No worries. :thumbup: I actually agree with most of the points you made in response about the state of governments these days, particularly in the Anglosphere. I'd really like it if there were more public discussion of what governments are for, and what they're not for.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#76  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 14, 2020 11:36 am

Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:While I said that the corporate sector in a mixed economy drives wealth creation, I didn't say that the role of capitalism was limited to that role alone. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

While I said that regulation to price in externalities is a government responsibility, I didn't say that that's their only role, nor that regulation is their only role. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

Right. I unreservedly acknowledge that you never insisted on limiting the function of capitalism to being a wealth creator and government to regulator. I was wrong. My assertion that you did is a misrepresentation of your position, and I withdraw it. Apologies.


Well done sir! I admire a full retraction as much, if not more, than a well presented truth. It sure displays a character not concerned with preservation of ego, or status, and should be seen as an admirable trait in all of us. Again, well done.

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#77  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 14, 2020 11:43 am

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:Granted, the USA is not a democracy, but rather a constitutional republic, so perhaps the USA isn’t a good example.

Those are not mutually exclusive.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#78  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 14, 2020 11:55 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
theropod_V_2.0 wrote:Granted, the USA is not a democracy, but rather a constitutional republic, so perhaps the USA isn’t a good example.

Those are not mutually exclusive.


True, but the fact remains that the will of the majority cannot hinder the rights of the minority, which limits the extent by which a democratic act, law or regulation may be enacted. This one fact is all the stops the tyranny of the majority, in theory. Our treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2 shot those lofty ideals right in the head.

Perhaps I didn’t form my post carefully enough, but the fact remains that the constitutional aspect of our government limits the will of the majority, and thus isn’t a true democracy.

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#79  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 14, 2020 12:03 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
theropod_V_2.0 wrote:Granted, the USA is not a democracy, but rather a constitutional republic, so perhaps the USA isn’t a good example.

Those are not mutually exclusive.


True, but the fact remains that the will of the majority cannot hinder the rights of the minority,

Which is true of every constitutional democracy,

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:
which limits the extent by which a democratic act, law or regulation may be enacted. This one fact is all the stops the tyranny of the majority, in theory. Our treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2 shot those lofty ideals right in the head.

Sure, but like I said, this applies to any constitutional democracy, not just republics.
In fact, the definition of republic doesn't preclude it from involving majority rule.

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:
Perhaps I didn’t form my post carefully enough, but the fact remains that the constitutional aspect of our government limits the will of the majority, and thus isn’t a true democracy.

RS

Again, correct, but at the same time, there is no Western country that practices absolute democracy, so I fail to see how that's particularly relevant to current events. Every Western democracy has either a constitution or secondary laws that prevent mob rule.

Democracy, at least when it refers to the average Western nation, means a representative democracy, not absolute.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#80  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 14, 2020 12:10 pm

My only, and entire, point. This makes the use of the word with broad brush strokes almost moot.

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