Socialism vs Capitalism: The Soho Debates - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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As either the transitional stage to communism or legitimate socio-economic ends in its own right.
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#15050070
I liked listening to this debate between my favorite Marxist economist Richard Wolff and a prominent Capitalist expert:



Which of these two you agree or disagree with and why?
#15050472
I am sorry T88 but I cannot watch a video for 1:38:44 but I will chime in on this age old debate. I have listened to defenders of capitalism rail on and on about the wonders of capitalism and many , possibly most, of their arguments cannot be effectively disputed, as presented. But, I have NEVER one of these defenders mention predatory capitalism. I can discuss predatory capitalism for hours but I must take a nap and go jogging. Predatory capitalism is, essentially, when the haves rig the deck in favor of themselves against the have nots. This can be accomplished in many ways. Let's look at Obese Donald's main "accomplishments" : a huge tax reduction for billionaires and corporations and rolling back of as many "regulations" as possible which will enable the monied class to dump their pollution, poison and filth into the water and air without having to be bothered with annoying time and profit consuming "regulations".

Image
Preditory Capitalism ^.

When Donald took power America had a half way decent system of capitalism/socialism. Social Security, medicare, Medicaid and regulations that protect quality of life for the majority of citizens. He has done a good job of rolling back taxes for the already massively wealthy and poisoning the environment while, at the same time, hiding his predatory actions behind an endless smoke screen lies and broken promises for the common man (and woman).

We need the next F.D.R. who will actually try to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

"It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle. "Franklin D. Roosevelt

Long story short …… socialism has a heart and looks out for the majority while capitalism looks good on paper but ends up making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
#15051291
I watched the entire video, but I'm probably biased because I'm already a fan of Richard Wolff.

I agree with his presentation in this video because he spoke of reality, characterized it factually, and had good replies to challenges. His opponent relied more on cliches, talking points, and the standard assortment of contrived objections.
#15057251
It's definitely a must-see, and Wolff has done much to publicize and clarify what socialism is all about.

I made some notes when I was watching the video, about a 'monolithism'-type attitude that I discerned, around the area / topic of workers-collective production and consumption (culture), and I thought it was around minute 17 in the video, but now I can't find it there.

What I mean is that socialists will often presume a certain, preformulated vision of proletarian culture for the workers state, and I mean to say that the actual social culture itself (as in the use of specific technologies for regular day-to-day living and organizing) is most-likely *unpredictable* going-forward, though the contours of the political *power* exercised can be extrapolated to some degree in advance (otherwise it wouldn't be an ideology and a plan, as for a workers state).

I recently finished another diagram-type illustration, which may or may not be useful to readers here -- it's meant to be a formalization of how all political dynamics work, in distinction to the 2 other 'realms' of lifestyle / personal life, and that of 'logistics', at a 'middle level', as seen in *this* graphic:


‭History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image



Anatomy of a Platform

Image
#15057256
Modern economies are mixed. Meaning a mix of public and private. There is no choice there, a modern economy is a dance between business, government and knowledge institutions.

Look at the history of England.

That makes that debate a bit academic. Even if there is a new way to organise a country, a debate is not where you would want to introduce the idea.

IOW, this turns economic understanding into the old, boring, chicken v egg argument. You can't have chickens without eggs, and vice versa.

A realistic discussion is what mix of public and private would work best in a particular economy. But that wouldn't be easy.
#15057264
late wrote:A realistic discussion is what mix of public and private would work best in a particular economy. But that wouldn't be easy.


No, it would be easy. Although the Crony Capitalists would make you think it is hard.

I remember watching this Video when Tainari88 published this a few months back. At the time I thought Epstein won over Wolff simply because both acknowledged the faults of Capitalism however Wolffs solutions of self directive enterprise is merely a branch of Capitalism and doesn't address the fundamental faults he highlighted in his introduction. If workers want to run themselves, who is stopping them today? Borrowing from the bank or the government, what does it matter if you have to return it with interest. Which is why this post of yours late is how I see things and something I want you to know that I too stand by. Enterprise should be left alone. That is, the Soviets tried to run it nationally but ultimately it didn't work and when Gorbachev realised and tried to bring forward Perestroika, it was too late and people voted to collapse the SU. But at the same time Capitalism is failing in certain areas too. Both Epstein and Wolff acknowledged housing is an issue in America today. You can put health and education in that bracket too. These are areas Socialism excel in. Why? Because they are essential services and as such to drive down costs in these areas you need to remove the drive for profit within them. So if you want to improve these areas in American society these are the very things that should be nationalised. It shouldn't be Socialism vs Capitalism at all. It should be both. Take what works in both economic models and form a new model.

When you invest all you sight in one area you are blind to what is behind you.
#15057268
B0ycey wrote:
No, it would be easy.



I was thinking about the forum. Some of more active members couldn't think their way out of a paper bag.

We Americans have done a spectacular job of screwing up. Figuring out the Ag Dept gave me raging headaches. And when I was done, I knew something pretty much no one would ever understand.

You can go down the list. Fixing education would be a doddle were it not for the fact that Americans either loathe or despise education reform.

Have you been watching the craziness in the primaries. Medicare for All would save the country a ton of money. But it has too many enemies, so all you hear is BS.

You'd think I would get used to it. I figured out most of what Alice in Wonderland meant a half century ago. Part of the story was about what happens in an empire in decline. So part of me knew, but the heart wasn't ready to accept it.
#15057273
late wrote:You can go down the list. Fixing education would be a doddle were it not for the fact that Americans either loathe or despise education reform.

Have you been watching the craziness in the primaries. Medicare for All would save the country a ton of money. But it has too many enemies, so all you hear is BS.


I am not American Late. I am British. So perhaps I have not followed the primaries as close as you. Although I am aware of the BS that comes from your politicans because they are bought by the lobbyists. Insurance is a powerful ally for them so no doubt the propaganda of nationalised health is going to be big. How big I cannot fathom. But it must be huge if anyone over there cannot see that reform is needed. For example we in the UK have a nationalised health service. And the mere suggestion of America getting involved in it after Brexit brings fear over here that we could lose this precious jewel. I also know Canada would never give up what they currently have either. So I do find it surprising that Americans who are also Anglos can't see beyond the stench of shit pouring out over there that they are getting screwed over big time and are bankrupting people for simply being ill.
#15057497
late wrote:
Modern economies are mixed. Meaning a mix of public and private. There is no choice there, a modern economy is a dance between business, government and knowledge institutions.

Look at the history of England.

That makes that debate a bit academic. Even if there is a new way to organise a country, a debate is not where you would want to introduce the idea.

IOW, this turns economic understanding into the old, boring, chicken v egg argument. You can't have chickens without eggs, and vice versa.

A realistic discussion is what mix of public and private would work best in a particular economy. But that wouldn't be easy.



Also in the direction of B0ycey's line, I'll note that one's own private sphere is just *too small* to effect any significant economic participation -- and if the enterprise gets large enough, as with corporations, then it should all be *socialized* into the hands of the workers, so it can be operated as a public concern and institution.

One way of visualizing this was stated at a post some time ago over on the now-defunct RevLeft discussion forum -- I made a graphic out of it at the time, showing that major productive facilities could benefit *everyone* through the communistic gift-economy, but there could be controlled-backsliding to lesser forms, including the market-mechanism, especially for less-common, more-specialized types of production:


Multi-Tiered System of Productive and Consumptive Zones for a Post-Capitalist Political Economy

Spoiler: show
Image
#15057507
ckaihatsu wrote:
Also in the direction of B0ycey's line, I'll note that one's own private sphere is just *too small* to effect any significant economic participation -- and if the enterprise gets large enough, as with corporations, then it should all be *socialized* into the hands of the workers, so it can be operated as a public concern and institution.

One way of visualizing this was stated at a post some time ago over on the now-defunct RevLeft discussion forum -- I made a graphic out of it at the time, showing that major productive facilities could benefit *everyone* through the communistic gift-economy, but there could be controlled-backsliding to lesser forms, including the market-mechanism, especially for less-common, more-specialized types of production:


Multi-Tiered System of Productive and Consumptive Zones for a Post-Capitalist Political Economy

Spoiler: show
Image




The image in the link was too small for me to read.

I'd have to see the specifics.
#15057508
late wrote:
The image in the link was too small for me to read.

I'd have to see the specifics.



Yeah, for any image that I post just click on it to be taken to the image-hosting site -- you can then 'Download original image' and use an image viewer on your computer to zoom in and out and scroll around that full-sized image at your leisure.
#15057511
ckaihatsu wrote:
Yeah, for any image that I post just click on it to be taken to the image-hosting site -- you can then 'Download original image' and use an image viewer on your computer to zoom in and out and scroll around that full-sized image at your leisure.



Thanks.

Read it, not sure I understood it. Seems to be talking about a command economy that has a degree of local control.

Not really a fan of command economies.
#15057515
late wrote:
Thanks.

Read it, not sure I understood it. Seems to be talking about a command economy that has a degree of local control.

Not really a fan of command economies.



Of course not -- *no one* should be a fan of state-capitalism-type strongman regimes from 20th century history.

The tricky part, though, is that *some* kind of centralization has to take place for any move away from the hands-off market mechanism, because certain *standards* would have to be consistently upheld over wide expanses of geography.

As pro-centralization as I am, though, I don't think that a global-scale centralization over a worldwide workers' control of production could just be inserted-in, necessarily in a top-down kind of way, because then that would be a *specialization* of social administration over collective production, which would necessarily be state-like and class-like -- a societal schism -- and thus bureaucratic elitism.

So, yeah, this 'Multi-Tiered' illustration shows that centralization could initially happen -- not fully -- but in *emergent*, bottom-up kinds of ways, with increasing consolidation over greater and greater geography, over time, without resorting to separatist, specialist, bureaucratic administration.

Recall that the only "alternative" to a bottom-up approach is the Wolffian 'commune' approach of localist workers-owned cooperatives, which isn't even anti-capitalist -- it *retains* private property and exchange values for property valuations, and would only recreate capitalist balkanization, just at an inter-communal level, necessitating exchange values for intercommunal economics of any kind.

I advocate my own 'labor credits' model for a post-capitalist communist-type political economy, which *surpasses* commodity production altogether while addressing all concerns over potential post-capitalist political and economic dynamics:


labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image



Labor credits Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... -Questions
#15057520
ckaihatsu wrote:
Of course not -- *no one* should be a fan of state-capitalism-type strongman regimes from 20th century history.

The tricky part, though, is that *some* kind of centralization has to take place for any move away from the hands-off market mechanism, because certain *standards* would have to be consistently upheld over wide expanses of geography.

As pro-centralization as I am, though, I don't think that a global-scale centralization over a worldwide workers' control of production could just be inserted-in, necessarily in a top-down kind of way, because then that would be a *specialization* of social administration over collective production, which would necessarily be state-like and class-like -- a societal schism -- and thus bureaucratic elitism.

So, yeah, this 'Multi-Tiered' illustration shows that centralization could initially happen -- not fully -- but in *emergent*, bottom-up kinds of ways, with increasing consolidation over greater and greater geography, over time, without resorting to separatist, specialist, bureaucratic administration.

Recall that the only "alternative" to a bottom-up approach is the Wolffian 'commune' approach of localist workers-owned cooperatives, which isn't even anti-capitalist -- it *retains* private property and exchange values for property valuations, and would only recreate capitalist balkanization, just at an inter-communal level, necessitating exchange values for intercommunal economics of any kind.

I advocate my own 'labor credits' model for a post-capitalist communist-type political economy, which *surpasses* commodity production altogether while addressing all concerns over potential post-capitalist political and economic dynamics:


labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image



Labor credits Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... -Questions



I tried to read your post at RevLeft. Didn't really understand it.

I'd like to see regulation to limit income inequality. I could see requiring labor having a seat on the board. I wouldn't object to part of the increase in pay come in the form of stocks or partial direct ownership.

I could even see giving the UN authority to regulate aspects of commerce, starting with carbon emissions.

Like I said, specifics.
#15057521
late wrote:
I tried to read your post at RevLeft. Didn't really understand it.

I'd like to see regulation to limit income inequality. I could see requiring labor having a seat on the board. I wouldn't object to part of the increase in pay come in the form of stocks or partial direct ownership.

I could even see giving the UN authority to regulate aspects of commerce, starting with carbon emissions.

Like I said, specifics.



Well, this is *reformism*, which also isn't anti-capitalist -- your approach here leaves the class divide unaddressed, and the 'board' would continue to push for higher rates of profit, at the expense of the well-being of the workers.

My anti-capitalist critique / politics extends to the social economic practice of *exchange values* / currency / money, because of the inherent *contradiction* (tension, conflict) between a commodity's exchange value and its use value. Exchange values / money needs to be abolished *right away* when workers seize control of the implements of mass industrial production (factories), so as to eliminate exchange values altogether from economics.
#15057525
late wrote:
You need a system that is an order of magnitude more sophisticated to replace it.

What it seems like I am seeing is something less sophisticated.



"I" need a system... -- ?

As though my life in the capitalist world is significantly different than anyone else within these same circumstances -- !

Now *you're* beginning to be vague in your meanings, which is certainly not-specific.

Again, take a look at the model framework illustration I've provided, and at the FAQ link, for more detail. Take your time with it, and report-back any concerns or issues you may have with the particulars.
#15057530
ckaihatsu wrote:
"I" need a system... -- ?

As though my life in the capitalist world is significantly different than anyone else within these same circumstances -- !

Now *you're* beginning to be vague in your meanings, which is certainly not-specific.

Again, take a look at the model framework illustration I've provided, and at the FAQ link, for more detail. Take your time with it, and report-back any concerns or issues you may have with the particulars.



You are proposing massive change.You need to convince us, and I am not even seeing an explanation that I understand.

Balls in your court.
#15057532
Tainari88 wrote:I liked listening to this debate between my favorite Marxist economist Richard Wolff and a prominent Capitalist expert:



Which of these two you agree or disagree with and why?


'Capitalism' is not 'Democratic', it never will be 'Socialistic' either, at the fundamental level, neither of them are true to their patronage.

A 'democrat' exercise's choice by how they vote in the expectation of a particular outcome that 'supposedly' , brings the, ' greatest possible happiness to the greatest number of people' :hmm: :p .

A 'Socialist' wants to produce the above objectives by arbitrarily deciding how, where, when & whom should have the fruits of someone else's labour through the redistribution of taxes levied on anything that moves.

A 'Capitalist' wants to apportion the greatest happiness on himself by charging an excess of what any goods or services cost to produce or sell in order to maximise his profit.

His 'taxpayer' is the customer from whom he levies the 'tax' that will earn him his profit, the customer though, has what neither 'Socialism', or 'Democracy' can provide- choice in where or how & to whom they give their disposable wealth to in return for material or other happiness.

The latter case illustrates that the consumer or customer always has the freedom to choose, providing that they have the means to make such choices, that's the fool-proof logical reason to never vote, because, by so doing, you get an expanding state.

A 'Socialist' government that has only one objective , to extract the maximum taxes from each, whilst 'redistributing' the minimum to the least well-off('Socialism'),in order to maintain the status quo of the ruling 'elite' capitalist class.

A 'Conservative' type of government, which includes the 'Liberal' flavour, exist only to maintain the capitalist system, for which the resources that it spends are distributed to it's property wealthy 'friends' of the 'elite' type, whether at a personal level, as 'reliefs', lower taxes,or 'tax breaks'.

They then double down on their own version of 'Socialism' towards Capitalism, through every conceivable reduction in business taxes, expanding tax reliefs, inflated public contract prices, bail-outs, 'write-downs' or tax 'gap' that they can get away with, whilst minimising the level of subsistence 'affluence' of the less well-off by using 'austerity' as an instrument in which to wage economic war against the less well-off whom they created in the first place.

One can be an 'apologist' to either side, they are simply two sides of the same coin, both sides have a vested interest in creating a schism between people through the creation of rich & poor.

The Tory side want cheap labour for their 'friends', whilst the 'Socialist' want the votes of the poor or less well-off, it's the people that always pay, if you are 'well-off', paying is no object, not so if poor or less 'well-off', for these two groups are never fully compensated for inflation in the capitalist system(caused by government).

At root, all that government does, is 'skim off money from people, either directly or indirectly(as in spending taxes), or business, to spend how it sees fit, it's the people that always pay, not business, because taxes are always passed on to the customer by business & the end user is always a personal customer or consumer.

We do not have a true Laissez Faire economic system, if we had, the state would not bail out businesses or even support them, instead business continue trading each year because the state allows badly run businesses to 'write down' their losses against any taxable gains each tax year, whereas a poor person would just be unable to seek redress for their own financial incontinence.

The western capitalist system is surviving solely on increasing dent which is 'creating' money, the effect is higher inflation, which is being dishonestly reported by governments, in order to reduce compensation payments to it's creditors or those long term liabilities to pensioners or benefit claimants, as a result currency values are being deflated towards the status of ;'fiat' status, as the price of gold would attest.
#15057544
Opposing capitalism and socialism is a false dichotomy. From Anglo neoliberals to European social democrats and the social market economy there is a wide range of market economies that cannot be summarized under the term of capitalism. As to socialism, its advocates pretend that their fantasies could become true irrespective of the horrible track record of the really-existing-socialism. The real world has no use for narcissistic self-indulgent dreamers.

To fight about ideologies such as socialism or capitalism is about as useful as a hole in the knee. The social market economy provides pragmatic solutions that can be adapted to all places and situations. It's by far the most successful model. The problem is that Anglophones are incapable of distinguishing between the effects of the market economy and the effects of the imperial economy. Imperialism and monopoly-capitalism distort the market.

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