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Why are we struggling to survive if we no longer need to?

Hello. For a few years now I've known what my 'life mission' is and have slowly I've been gathering my thoughts and ideas. I am now ready to get the ball rolling. What I am developing is a movement with the aim of achieving material security for all human beings. I'm in the process of writing a manifesto, and I have numerous project ideas in development too. I've written an 'introduction to the Enough movement' that i'm going to start sharing, with the hope of spreading the idea, gaining support, and building a team. I'd just like some feedback on this 'introduction' before I start to share. Perhaps something is unclear and needs better explaining, perhaps some extra information about a certain aspect is needed... and so on. So any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you.

......

Why are we struggling to survive if we no longer need to?

An Introduction to the ‘Enough’ movement

Humanity now has the means, the resources, and the collective will for all human beings to live in material security… no one, no longer need struggle to survive. Through our technological and social development, we are now able to ensure that every human being on this planet has the food, water, shelter, medicine, safety, and education, not just to survive, but to thrive too.

For the first time in 3.8 billion years of evolution, amongst billions of species to have existed, one species - our species - is poised to transcend the violent, desperate struggle for survival. This truly remarkable accomplishment needs now only to be realised and made manifest. The Enough movement is dedicated to this end.

We take it as self-evident that:
1. If all human beings can have material security then all human beings should have material security
2. If any human being can help another human being to have material security then that human being should help another human being to have material security
3. If any human being can help another human being to have material security then that human being should help as priority, to the best of their abilities, without being compelled to compromise their own material security.
……

Twenty two thousand children die every day because of poverty on this planet. Such a degree of suffering would be deemed monstrous if it existed within our own societies at even a fraction of the size. Yet, whilst one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted, whilst we overeat and get overweight, whilst we complain and return our unsatisfactory food, we allow poverty to kill over eight million children every single year.

This is not just immoral, and this is not just crazy… this is something so much more - a wretched illness at the heart of our species that does not reflect our true nature nor our deepest desires, and that requires not just the radical transformation of our societies, ideologies and systems, but of each individual human heart and mind. The Enough movement will be dedicated to this end.

Ending the struggle for survival will not be a simple or easy task. But it is possible, it is the right thing to do, and so it is what we must do. It might be that - like all great social movements - it takes multiple generations to accomplish. However, of one thing, we can be certain, and that is that, if we do not at least start then it can never be accomplished.

This is the start, and, as tremendous as the task ahead of us is, because it has been started, it will be accomplished. For this vision is simply too universal and too desirable for humanity to now not eventually make it so. How and when it will be achieved will be determined by the perseverance, diligence and integrity of those who care and of those who engage with and contribute to this movement, and to all like it.

The first step is simple…

If you agree with this vision then share it. Even better, think about it and discuss it.

Think about and discuss what the implications of the struggle for survival have been for the human race. From crime to greed to poverty to war. Think about how much of the suffering humans have experienced is rooted in the struggle for survival.

Think about and discuss what kind of world we could have if all human beings lived in material security. From freedom from suffering to unleashed human potential to more harmonious, peaceful human relations. Think about how your life could be improved if you had all that you need.

Think about and discuss what ‘material security’ means. From nourishment to shelter to medicine to education to peace. Think about what it means to live in ‘material security’.

Think about and discuss how we can achieve material security for all human beings. From social projects to technological innovation to non-violent campaigns to philosophical development. Think about and discuss how, from this starting point, we can begin the journey towards ending poverty, environmental destruction, war, corruption and injustice in the world, such that all human beings live in material security.

Think about and discuss what you need to do in your life to make the biggest contribution possible to this movement. From personal development to sacrifices to the development of ideas to further education. Think about what you need to do and who you need to be to perform an effective role in achieving material security for all human beings.

Think about and discuss how you can help this movement to succeed. From your time and energy to resources to ideas to skills and experiences. Think about what you can do to help us to become an effective movement that ends the struggle for survival.

Let’s create a universal epiphany…

_We no longer need struggle to survive… everyone can have all that they need… this we can achieve… this we will achieve… together… for all. _

BunksShoshinsova
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Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s a bold initiative, and a timely one I think. There will definitely be people who will want to give this a push. And it’s important to give them a means to do so: from leaving an email address so they can stay up to date on the campaign, to making a donation to help the movement get started.

    There’s also a bit of a question of what kind of organisation you intend this to be. There are political aspects, so there will be a need to do lobbying. But that’s not the primary cause, so I don’t think you want to be a political party. There are important socio-economic questions to resolve, so there are some aspects of being a think-tank.

    On the introduction, I think it’s quite long and rather wordy (well-written though!). I think you need to publicise simultaneously with 1. A website, 2. A strong image with a brief explanation and link to the website, 3. A short intro that can be copy and pasted with a link to the website. There’s probably more but I’m not a publicist :) you obviously also need a logo, a Facebook presence and a Twitter one.

    Lots of work to do to realise it.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited September 15

    Noble, OP. But a generation or two too late. Two words: climate change. The proverbial wrench in the works. "Honey, they've toasted the planet!" You need a new plan.

  • @Dakini said:
    Noble, OP. But a generation or two too late. Two words: climate change. The proverbial wrench in the works. "Honey, they've toasted the planet!" You need a new plan.

    'Material security' most definitely includes protecting the environment! There's no point in every human being having food, water, shelter etc. if they don't have a planet to live on!

  • @Kerome said:
    It’s a bold initiative, and a timely one I think. There will definitely be people who will want to give this a push. And it’s important to give them a means to do so: from leaving an email address so they can stay up to date on the campaign, to making a donation to help the movement get started.

    There’s also a bit of a question of what kind of organisation you intend this to be. There are political aspects, so there will be a need to do lobbying. But that’s not the primary cause, so I don’t think you want to be a political party. There are important socio-economic questions to resolve, so there are some aspects of being a think-tank.

    On the introduction, I think it’s quite long and rather wordy (well-written though!). I think you need to publicise simultaneously with 1. A website, 2. A strong image with a brief explanation and link to the website, 3. A short intro that can be copy and pasted with a link to the website. There’s probably more but I’m not a publicist :) you obviously also need a logo, a Facebook presence and a Twitter one.

    Lots of work to do to realise it.

    Great points, thanks. This is most definitely going to be an ever evolving work in progress. The scope of the vision is too vast for a clear road map... at least not at present. At the moment i'm just breaking it down into phases. The first is to share the idea and, hopefully, build a narrative that leads to an epiphany. I think that is the key word. I think our technological development has been so rapid that we haven't actually realised what position we are in and what we can accomplish with it. Instead we utilise and harness our development in service of old ideas, i.e. capitalism, that, for many reasons, is no longer sustainable, or perhaps even desirable. That isn't to decry capitalism - obviously it has allowed some of us an unprecedented standard of living - but we are an evolving species and with that our ideas must evolve and adapt as required. :)

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran
    edited September 15

    Sounds good in principle but you're assuming that all people are reasonable where in fact many would go out of their way to prevent such a world being a reality.

    I've done a fair bit of research on war in the past, as part of looking at why cultural heritage gets destroyed during war and how it could be prevented. The truth is that no matter what safeguards are put in place it's an impossible objective. You might think it reasonable that 2000 year old sites of international importance would want to be kept by all, yet some people deliberately destroy these, they use hospitals as shields, they fight from temples, they have no regard for anything or anyone.

    In future times when land and particularly resources are scarce, good will to all men will be even further from the pipe dream it is now. Just letting you know what you're up against. Admirable as it is, it's a fruitless pursuit.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The main enemies you'll come up against are Capitalist Governments and Corporations. And they're big and powerful enemies.

    They survive by perpetuating greed and delusion in the population. And they have set up their system very, VERY well!!

    Good luck though.....your ideals are impressive.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited September 15

    Why are we struggling to survive if we no longer need to?

    ...Dukkha AKA Unsatisfactoriness...As a species we crave more and when we get more we crave even more....Enough is never enough when there's more to be had......at any cost...

    It is very admirable what you are aiming for @mindatrisk May you have great success <3

    Take a leaf out of Shantideva's "The Way of the Bodhisattva."....

    ""It is easier to put on a pair of shoes than to wrap the earth in leather.""

    I liken this to Charity begins at home ( then spreads elsewhere)...

    A local group started this on the island Kai conscious

    I think at times we in the West often turn a blind eye on the poverty in our own backyard...
    Whether one lives in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe or the Americas...hunger pains do not discriminate...A starving person is a starving person,

    A Maori proverb...
    "Ma Te Murumuru Ka Rere Ai Te Manu" ( adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly)

    The long term goal of the organisation I work/volunteer for...is to help and educate those in need, so those who have been helped can help and educate others.. Planting seeds....

    It's just a simple act of "Dana"
    Shantideva's Shoes ....

    Bunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    You might find this interview interesting. It's with Yuval Noah Harari, his first book Sapiens was a look at humanity's past, his second book Homo Deus was on humanity's future, now he has a new book looking at the present and the problems we face and offers possible solutions.

    I find him incredibly brilliant and an amazing thinker. He offers up a sober look at the world and some level headed ways we might think about addressing them.

    Shoshin
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Why indeed.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    What you are talking about means a significant redistribution of wealth, from the wealthy to the poorest. Addressing issues such as inequality and class means a re-engineering of society away from property rights and perhaps capitalism

    @Bunks said:
    The main enemies you'll come up against are Capitalist Governments and Corporations. And they're big and powerful enemies.

    The vested interests will definitely not be in favour.

  • @Lee82 said:
    Sounds good in principle but you're assuming that all people are reasonable where in fact many would go out of their way to prevent such a world being a reality.

    I've done a fair bit of research on war in the past, as part of looking at why cultural heritage gets destroyed during war and how it could be prevented. The truth is that no matter what safeguards are put in place it's an impossible objective. You might think it reasonable that 2000 year old sites of international importance would want to be kept by all, yet some people deliberately destroy these, they use hospitals as shields, they fight from temples, they have no regard for anything or anyone.

    In future times when land and particularly resources are scarce, good will to all men will be even further from the pipe dream it is now. Just letting you know what you're up against. Admirable as it is, it's a fruitless pursuit.

    All of this is very, very true. I suppose my feeling is simply that, whatever efforts are made, whatever progress is achieved is worth it. Maybe in my lifetime all that is achieved is that 7 million children die of poverty each year instead of 8 million. Maybe all that I achieve is to sew some seeds that one day, in better times for humanity, are taken up by a new generation. That could be 1000 years from now! I think what is important is to just focus on doing what is right in the moment and forgetting about outcomes. I'm sure the same sense of overwhelming odds against were felt by slaves, by women, by Indians, by black people, and yeah, it took hundreds of years for meaningful progress to be made, but it was made, and it was made because, at one point in time, when the odds seemed impossible, and all was hopeless, some people at least tried. All I want to be is someone who at least tried. Cos, who knows what will become?

  • @Bunks said:
    The main enemies you'll come up against are Capitalist Governments and Corporations. And they're big and powerful enemies.

    They survive by perpetuating greed and delusion in the population. And they have set up their system very, VERY well!!

    Good luck though.....your ideals are impressive.

    Thank you. I think one of the key positions I need to take is to 'have no enemies'. That is, to work from a position of working for all. Yes, people might oppose me, but it doesn't mean I have to oppose them. I can make the effort to understand their perspective and to work towards compromises. I'm not aiming for a utopia. I don't expect heaven on Earth. I don't think i'm even being overly demanding. I just don't see why any human being should struggle to survive - let alone die in poverty - when there is no longer any need to. That doesn't mean bringing down governments or overthrowing capitalism... this is something everyone can agree on and work together towards achieving, without necessarily surrendering what they feel is right and good for them.

    Bunksperson
  • @Shoshin said:

    Why are we struggling to survive if we no longer need to?

    ...Dukkha AKA Unsatisfactoriness...As a species we crave more and when we get more we crave even more....Enough is never enough when there's more to be had......at any cost...

    It is very admirable what you are aiming for @mindatrisk May you have great success <3

    Take a leaf out of Shantideva's "The Way of the Bodhisattva."....

    ""It is easier to put on a pair of shoes than to wrap the earth in leather.""

    I liken this to Charity begins at home ( then spreads elsewhere)...

    A local group started this on the island Kai conscious

    I think at times we in the West often turn a blind eye on the poverty in our own backyard...
    Whether one lives in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe or the Americas...hunger pains do not discriminate...A starving person is a starving person,

    A Maori proverb...
    "Ma Te Murumuru Ka Rere Ai Te Manu" ( adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly)

    The long term goal of the organisation I work/volunteer for...is to help and educate those in need, so those who have been helped can help and educate others.. Planting seeds....

    It's just a simple act of "Dana"
    Shantideva's Shoes ....

    Yeah, I would actually be more than happy just to see universal basic income introduced into the West. That would - for the most part - solve the problem of poverty at home. Also, however, there is the enough of war and environmental destruction. These are bigger obstacles. I have started some charitable projects to help, but I get frustrated. I simply can't be satisfied with helping tens or hundreds knowing that millions / billions are suffering. I think ideas change the world, and ideas is what I am best at.

  • @person said:
    You might find this interview interesting. It's with Yuval Noah Harari, his first book Sapiens was a look at humanity's past, his second book Homo Deus was on humanity's future, now he has a new book looking at the present and the problems we face and offers possible solutions.

    I find him incredibly brilliant and an amazing thinker. He offers up a sober look at the world and some level headed ways we might think about addressing them.

    Thank you very much! I don't think most people realise just how many great ideas and solutions are already available to humanity. The struggle really is not for ideas, but in manifesting ideas into reality. Obviously the gatekeeper is usually the government, and their process reflects public demand. The problem with creating demand in the public is engaging them. With social media it is quite easy to reach people with an idea (relative to the past) but there is so much disillusionment, i.e. 'things will never change' that it can be hard to engage people with a big idea. Thank you again.

    person
  • @Kerome said:
    What you are talking about means a significant redistribution of wealth, from the wealthy to the poorest. Addressing issues such as inequality and class means a re-engineering of society away from property rights and perhaps capitalism

    @Bunks said:
    The main enemies you'll come up against are Capitalist Governments and Corporations. And they're big and powerful enemies.

    The vested interests will definitely not be in favour.

    This is going to sound terribly naïve, but I think, ultimately, the rich are simply going to share their wealth. It should go without saying (but i'm not sure it does) that rich people are not bad. They are literally you and I plus a lot more money. Rich people can and do care as much as anyone else does. BUT, there is confusion within our culture, because, some of us encourage and celebrate the rich, and even those who denounce the rich are relatively rich compared to many in the world, and would be very happy to be rich themselves. In other words, there is very little presence of a truly moral position in society regarding money. There might be activists protesting the 1%, but how much did their trainers cost, and which games console will they be playing on this evening, you know? Once this is ironed out then I can readily imagine a lot of rich people being more than happy to share their wealth, and if that happened we could easily tackle issues like poverty. I think it is Oxfam who said that poverty could be ended with £56 billion a year for three years. Jeff Bezos is worth almost that himself! The US military spends £700 billion alone itself! The wealth is there. Ending poverty is absolutely possible. But there are some tangled knots that need untying.

  • Let's say everyone gets on board and gives it a try, how might you incentivise those who work hard to continue to work hard but only to accept money or resources at the same level as those who can't work or choose not to? If money/food was equally distributed then why would one work hard with no prospect of bettering their own or anyone else's outlook? Also how do you achieve advances in science or medicine where money and resources are necessary, without rewarding those who are successful?

    Good luck with your ambitions.

    person
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Veteran
    edited September 16

    I understand that the first part of the process is to spread the overall aim.
    But at the moment it is a bit too vague to me particularly considering that many well meaning intiatives do not work as intended, due to methodology (though many might have been rooted in capitalism?). Also where is this focused, which countries (is it the 1% at home or abroad) etc. Or is it a general philosophy of life? Perhaps like buying fair trade and such.

    There are many issues keeping people from wealth, such as people hoarding it at the top where money doesn't reach the bottom, high unemployment, people living on land or places where its hard to make money, wealth or even reasonable food. Corrupt governments in some countries spending money doesn't really help either.

    If it is a movement directly getting wealthy people to give money to poor i'd be very sceptical. I know some of the very richest do give up money for kindness or for image reasons. And also may donate things or food to the poorest in the local community. Those are not bad things however it seems a little too much to rely soley on the rich giving money (directly at least), bearing in mind it doesn't get to the root of the problem unless the money is directed in a particular way. And if you are considering getting money from one country to another you need to consider corrupt governments and charities who waste most of the money. And how to get resources to places with little infrastructure or to people who are not even recognised to exist.
    One thing i was reminded of was on how disney themeparks doesn't pay enough in some countries for people to survive on which is sad considering it happens in a rich country.

    person
  • mindatriskmindatrisk Veteran
    edited September 16

    @Lee82 said:
    Let's say everyone gets on board and gives it a try, how might you incentivise those who work hard to continue to work hard but only to accept money or resources at the same level as those who can't work or choose not to? If money/food was equally distributed then why would one work hard with no prospect of bettering their own or anyone else's outlook? Also how do you achieve advances in science or medicine where money and resources are necessary, without rewarding those who are successful?

    Good luck with your ambitions.

    Arhhh I love these questions.

    What I propose is a middle way... a compromise. There are some people who are happy to have just enough to survive comfortably so that they can devote their time to what they are passionate about and interested in. This would describe me. I need approximately £650 per month to live (actually £340 at the moment if anyone fancies chipping in!). If I had this then I would dedicate all my time to the development of this vision. There are also others... artists, scientists, philosophers, and the socially concerned like myself, who would, for the most part, be content to have just enough to live on if it meant that they could devote their time to their pursuits. For the most part, this is how all of these individuals have lived throughout history. Vincent Van Gogh and Nicolas Tesla both died penniless, and, I presume, struggled for their material security throughout their lives. But it didn't stop or inhibit them from pursuing what they loved. Nor did either give up what they loved for another path that would make them money. Individuals like this contribute to humanity as much as wealth creators do - and it could be argued that they contribute more. I think we would all enjoy a better world if these individuals had a secure platform of material security from which they could freely nurture and express their interests and talents. After all, it is only the very richest who can now afford a Van Gogh piece... would it not be in the best interests of the rich to have more quality art, science, philosophy etc. to be able to purchase? Is not the whole purpose of wealth to be able to afford these things for the enjoyment they give? In the West, at least, this material security could be afforded these individuals through the introduction of a universal basic income.

    As to the more capitalist minded... Well, their role be that of the wealth creators - the ones who fund the artists and scientists, who benefit most from the artists and scientists, and who get to keep most of their wealth. In other words, just as it is now. Of course, i'd like to see a regulated capitalism become I don't think it is right to exploit people nor endanger the environment simply to make money. But by and large, I see no problem with those motivated by money to continue to make money and to enjoy a more materialistic lifestyle. I think this is a very reasonable compromise that benefits all sides. Personally, I am wasted performing a capitalist role. I do not care for making more money than I need, I will never be a great wealth generator, but I have a deep passion for the well-being of human beings, and enough good ideas to make something of a difference... not just for those in need, but for everyone. I hope this somewhat answers your (very good) questions.

    person
  • @Carameltail said:
    I understand that the first part of the process is to spread the overall aim.
    But at the moment it is a bit too vague to me particularly considering that many well meaning intiatives do not work as intended, due to methodology (though many might have been rooted in capitalism?).

    The methodology is a huge, huge problem, especially when a charity or service is performance measured. You might be familiar with the notion of 'juking the stats'. Well, the roots of this - the need to hit targets - is like a cancer that devours the integrity and ability of a service to actually perform rather than have the appearance of performing. This problem is definitely linked to money and the mentality of capitalism (wanting something tangible in return for money spent), but also to how our political systems work, i.e. governments get elected on results, and if they can say 'crime has been reduced by 10%' then it doesn't matter too much how that figure has been arrived at, i.e. whether it is real or manipulated, because our whole society plays the same game and has a vested interest in not questioning this methodology. I'm not sure how that can be tackled other than questioning it and arguing for the merits of actuality over appearance. At the moment I think much of western civilisation lives with something of a mirage - an appearance of something good that has no real substance.

    In terms of this vision being vague... Yes, this is something that others have pointed out. I do have concrete objectives, so I'll include them in future drafts.

    @Carameltail said: Also where is this focused, which countries (is it the 1% at home or abroad) etc. Or is it a general philosophy of life? Perhaps like buying fair trade and such.

    That depends on what strategy I end up employing, which depends largely on the feedback I receive and the amount of support I gain. Obviously, poverty exists all over the world, and tackling it in the West will require different methods to tackling it in developing nations. There is also the issue of war and of environmental destruction, both of which are naturally included in a vision of 'material security'. If my brain finds a few more gears then perhaps I can 'fight on all fronts', i.e. develop plans for all aspects. If not, then I either need to surrender some aspects to others to lead on (something I'm reluctant to do at present given the current propensity towards disagreement and conflict over unity and compromise... I absolutely do not want this to degenerate into even the mildest forms of violent revolution, let alone some of these extremes have happened in the past), or to take a step by step approach, which will probably mean addressing Western issues in the hope of creating a model that can - if wished - be replicated in other nations. At the moment it is not possible to say which will happen.

    @Carameltail said:
    There are many issues keeping people from wealth, such as people hoarding it at the top where money doesn't reach the bottom, high unemployment, people living on land or places where its hard to make money, wealth or even reasonable food. Corrupt governments in some countries spending money doesn't really help either.

    I'm actually not too concerned about wealth redistribution, and I don't actually feel that the problem is with the rich. I think the rich are in a confusing position. One the one hand they are celebrated for their success and seen as inspirations and leaders by A LOT of people. On the other hand they are denounced for their greed by A LOT of people. And yet the rich invariably are engaged with very meaningful philanthropic activities. For the most part, the rich are just human beings like you and I who have happened to succeed in something they were interested in and passionate about - and frequently in endeavours that were motivated by selfless sentiments. I think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos were all motivated by creating products and services that would enhance human life more than they were about getting rich. If their motivation was just to get rich then they'd have all retired from work once they made their wealth. But the biggest problem, to me, is the hypocrisy in those who denounce the rich, and it is this hypocrisy, and a lack of a truly moral alternative, that I think keeps inequality alive. There are many activists who denounce the rich, or who encourage wealth redistribution, who they themselves enjoy relatively indulgent lives compared to many in the world. How many activists protest wealth inequality and then go home and play on their Playstations? Too many of those who denounce the rich are playing the same game, only not succeeding. This is rank hypocrisy, and the biggest obstacle to overcome. An example needs to be set, and I think that when it is, then the rich will quite happily share their wealth.

    Your point about corrupt governments is a good one. In the West i'd feel more than happy encouraging civil disobedience campaigns to push this vision forwards. But how can I encourage that in nations where activists can be detained, tortured and killed? I have no answer to this. But i'm sure amongst the seven billion of us there is someone with the answer!

    Carameltail
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Veteran
    edited September 16

    Interesting answer.

    Yep it's true that looking for measurable benefits and targets does hinder a lot the original good intention (or less good) behind many intiatives.
    I think in intellectual circles at least there is often discussion of this on how organisations are often too focused on looking for measurable results. And also the other thing is imposing western ideas on other countries. Such as with a country primarly socialist system and was doing actually ok but having capitalist ideas forced upon them. I think many people at least have tried to put criticism forward.
    But big orgnaisations will find both hard to change and not a much motivation plus all or most the people within it will be stuck in a certain mindset. New intiatives by people and organisations which haven't become rooted in certain ideas have a chance but for example, social entrepreneurs looking for money from a project can often do more harm than good by preventing critical public services from developing or making people dependent on certain products.

    I think governments often want to have simple stats to deal with rather than any complicated ideas. And then want big gains from easy to make changes or no real change at all.

    I'd think it's would be hard to tackle an issue from so many angles. Unless there is a specific starting point, which I guess depends upon what sub-issues exist and what sort of things can be addressed easily or would be most important to address.

    With the rich there are often people who want to tax the rich more and more. The rich however firstly feel they worked hard for money secondly those who are rich enough can set up corporations or take money overseas to avoid tax. So in the end everyone else ends up paying more and more as the government thinks this is good way to fund things. Not saying tax is bad just that it doesn't always seem to be as fair as people say it is although there are obviously some very good benefits from it.

    I think while some people will always work, however some people are not motivated, feel left out of society, do not have the skills to do anything or rather work for themselves and let others cover up for them. Maybe they just can't find anything or they live in a deprived area.
    How would these inconsistencies be addressed? Also there are many regional variations even within one country or even one council and wealth can be very unequal.

    I think many people take on said mentality of becoming rich and playing the same game do so to survive.
    Although also from a young age people are taught to be driven to follow materialistic pursuits of more and more and more. Commercials or even just normal tv programs or books can reinforce this idea. It's very hard to get away from this idea if you are exposed to media. There is the other thing of self comparison in which people see themselves as relatively poor compared to their peers and are therefore upset. My car isnt as good as yours and that.
    And there are other reasons for division in society such as age, religion and culture.

    In the past it was predicted that people would work much shorter hours in the future which doesn't seem to be the case. Wages for people on the top increasing with wages for people at the bottom not increasing with inflation. And with AI coming will new jobs be created? Or will jobs be replaced.

    In the West since there is less apparent like corruption or people being hanged etc, often there is less motivation for uprising. People need a specific reason to start questioning and challenging things. A wake up call of some sort or an appeal to emotion perhaps. With nations where activists can be killed perhaps technology such as the internet or drones and such may have an answer.
    I'm critical of technology in many contexts considering how much damage it can do however it could have an answer.

  • Sometimes we need to understand the world we live in ...

    Maybe this documentary is relevant ...
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8135494/

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    What you are talking about means a significant redistribution of wealth, from the wealthy to the poorest. Addressing issues such as inequality and class means a re-engineering of society away from property rights and perhaps capitalism

    @Bunks said:
    The main enemies you'll come up against are Capitalist Governments and Corporations. And they're big and powerful enemies.

    The vested interests will definitely not be in favour.

    Expropriate the expropriators.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited September 17
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    Also of interest: How he made those billions.

    Another perspective from Friedrich Engels:

    As though you rendered the proletarians a service in first sucking out their very life-blood and then practising your self-complacent, Pharisaic philanthropy upon them, placing yourselves before the world as mighty benefactors of humanity when you give back to the plundered victims the hundredth part of what belongs to them! Charity which degrades him who gives more than him who takes; charity which treads the downtrodden still deeper in the dust, which demands that the degraded, the pariah cast out by society, shall first surrender the last that remains to him, his very claim to manhood, shall first beg for mercy before your mercy deigns to press, in the shape of an alms, the brand of degradation upon his brow.

  • @Jason said:

    Also of interest: How he made those billions.

    Another perspective from Friedrich Engels:

    As though you rendered the proletarians a service in first sucking out their very life-blood and then practising your self-complacent, Pharisaic philanthropy upon them, placing yourselves before the world as mighty benefactors of humanity when you give back to the plundered victims the hundredth part of what belongs to them! Charity which degrades him who gives more than him who takes; charity which treads the downtrodden still deeper in the dust, which demands that the degraded, the pariah cast out by society, shall first surrender the last that remains to him, his very claim to manhood, shall first beg for mercy before your mercy deigns to press, in the shape of an alms, the brand of degradation upon his brow.

    This is an interesting perspective. I am trying hard to be understanding of capitalism because I know the situation is more nuanced than 'capitalism = bad' otherwise it wouldn't have so much support. My understanding of capitalism seems to be this:

    1. Have a business idea
    2. Work hard developing the business idea
    3. Risk money invested and time spent establishing the business idea
    4. Provide a product or service that people want
    5. Work hard making the business a success
    6. Employ people who are looking for jobs
    7. If lucky, after quite a few years of hard work, sacrifice, worries and struggles, make a good living... and, if very lucky, make a very good living

    Now, to me, I'm finding it hard to see where the problem is in this. Of course, it's important to look after your employees fairly, but there are laws to govern that. And, of course, there are social and environmental responsibilities which are again regulated by laws. Also, perhaps, you are super fortunate and inherit a lot of money which reduces risks and gives you a head start. But, all in all, the above process seems very fair. Yet Engels seems to be saying that the money that the business owner makes is actually stolen from the people...? How so, and which people? And then he devalues and disincentives kindness and compassion by condemning charitable pursuits. I feel like I must be getting all of this wrong or misunderstanding something key, but I'm finding it hard to understand the problem. And this is someone who is 36 and never earned more than £200 in a week. But I do want to be fair and I definitely do not want to be an anti-capitalist cliché, so maybe someone can enlighten me on the problem.

    person
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    Most people find it hard to see the problem because often the problems with capitalism are obscured by the logic of the system itself, treated as necessary evils (e.g., cyclical crises, structural unemployment, wealth inequality, etc.), or else are framed in a way that places the blame on individuals and personal failings rather than on the systems which create inequality and injustice, and that trap certain segments of the population in cycles of poverty, unemployment, etc.

    If I had the time and wasn't writing this on a phone, I'd be more specific, but the short version is: Capitalism is like a ponzi scheme that takes value in the form of money created by all the labour from the bottom of the pyramid and gives it to the people at the top who 'own' that labour and the value it produces. And when that pyramid scheme is about to fall apart like a house of cards, the state comes in to rescue it by making it rain on those on top (e.g , Trump's $12 billion bailout of big agribusiness), keeping their unproductive capital in business while wages remain stagnant and working people are kept in privation, ready to turn on each other and their international comrades because they're tired, hungry, and desperate. Rinse and repeat.

    Kerome
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    And a longer version, written after watching a documentary on Netflix: https://leavesintheforest.blogspot.com/2018/09/saving-capitalism.html

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    Seriously, people should just really read Marx's Capital and other works. They're still some of the best critiques of capitalism and how it functions, pointing out the underlying contradictions that create so much exploitation and inequality, as well as the violence at the beginning that got it all started and that continues to keep it going.

    Kerome
  • @Jason said:
    Most people find it hard to see the problem because often the problems with capitalism are obscured by the logic of the system itself, treated as necessary evils (e.g., cyclical crises, structural unemployment, wealth inequality, etc.), else are framed in a way that places the blame on individuals and personal failings rather than on the systems which create inequality and injustice, and that trap certain segments of the population in cycles of poverty, unemployment, etc.

    If I had the time and wasn't writing this on a phone, I'd be more specific, but the short version is: Capitalism is like a ponzi scheme that takes value in the form of money created by all the labour from the bottom of the pyramid and gives it to the people at the top who 'own' that labour and the value it produces. And when that pyramid scheme is about to fall apart like a house of cards, the state comes in to rescue it by making it rain on those on top (e.g , Trump's $12 billion bailout of big agribusiness), keeping their unproductive capital in business while wages remain stagnant and working people are kept in privation, ready to turn on each other and their international comrades because they're tired, hungry, and desperate. Rinse and repeat.

    Thank you for the explanation. I presume this inherent problem applies mostly to larger corporations. For example, if someone works hard, saves up their money, trains to become a hairdresser, takes out a loan to set up a salon, and then employs people paying them at the market rate, then - at this level - there isn't too much of a problem. After all, some qualified hairdressers may not want to open their own salon and are happy and appreciative of the chance to be employed by someone who made the extra effort to set up a salon with all the accompanying costs and risks. At this level I still don't see the problem.

    Now, if, for example, someone went through the same process setting up a food store that ended up succeeding on a massive scale, which meant they made millions in profit, much of which is enabled by perhaps employing people on minimum wage, using their power to get better trade deals, and so on, it becomes more apparent how a problem could develop. BUT, within all of that - their success - is continued hard work, continued risks, and, so, is a proportionate reward not fair?

    I know this subject is too big to be understood fully, but I'm very curious to know specifically where the problems lie and arise. I know that in the past the gap between the lowest paid worker and the CEO in an organisation used to be a lot less. That is definitely a problem. I can see that very large amounts of wealth can bring political power which might allow lobbying, favouritism etc. But, really, at what point does the seeminly very fair model outlined for the hairdresser cross over into something that so many regard as such a serious issue?

    I appreciate your time and knowledge. Thank you.

    person
  • @Jason said:

    And a longer version, written after watching a documentary on Netflix: https://leavesintheforest.blogspot.com/2018/09/saving-capitalism.html

    Very interesting, if a little above my station. The feeling I am getting is that problems with capitalism are less to do with the theory itself, and more to do with how it is used / abused, i.e. exploitation of poorer nations for resources, labour etc. Not that the theory is bullet proof, as you out line some seemingly intrinsic issues that will always give rise to problems irrespective of how the system is abused, but perhaps those intrinsic problems could be acceptable if the 'game' was played fairly and with respect. Is that a reasonable interpretation?

    This is something I have to be careful with. I can see from just reading your post that it is something that I could get bogged down with, and, since I am operating from a position of wishing to further the vision of my movement, I need to be pragmatic and strategic, and fighting capitalism at a theoretical level is not a battle I am going to win, given greater minds have fought that battle for a few hundred years now, and not won it.

    I think my best bet is to develop the movement into such a position as to have the leverage and influence to propose a compromise. I can't see me fighting on the premise of ending capitalism and getting very far at all.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    No, it has to do with the logic of how capitalism functions, and the contradictions inherent to capitalism that create things like cyclical economic crises, wealth inequality, competition over cooperation, etc. These are the very things that prevent what you're talking about/trying do. The problem isn't that capitalism is being abused; it's that it's working perfectly.

  • @Jason said:
    No, it has to do with the logic of how capitalism functions, and the contradictions inherent to capitalism that create things like cyclical economic crises, wealth inequality, competition over cooperation, etc. These are the very things that prevent what you're talking about/trying do. The problem isn't that capitalism is being abused; it's that it's working perfectly.

    How could it be regulated - how could it be agreed upon - into an acceptable form? Let's say, for example, this movement goes global and has enough heft to demand stronger regulations... what would they be? What would a more acceptable capitalism look like?

    The problem I have is that eight million children die every year from poverty, and this movement will make no inroads into that number if it gets bogged down in a theoretical battle that a few hundreds years of great minds has not won, and that billions of people, including the most powerful in the world, alongside the most powerful governments in the world, all support... and vehemently.

    So, for this movement to be credible and successful, I can't see any thing but a compromise succeeding at this present time. Now, who knows what will happen in the future. Maybe everyone will get sick of capitalism. But, right now, I need to find a way that will keep all sides reasonably happy so that progress can be made where it desperately needs to be made.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    You're truly missing everything I'm saying. I know it's hard trying to look outside of a system and how it functions when you're immersed in it, but I hope you'll try. Solutions will have to come outside of the box before we destroy what's left of our environment, otherwise no amount of regulations will be able to save us.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited September 17

    In an attempt to add some balance I'll contribute my own evil position.

    I'd say that capitalism is a wholly amoral system and as such can readily be used in an unethical and harmful manner. It's concern is with a productive and efficient economy, which I would argue has a certain positive moral quality to it. Economics isn't zero sum game, there isn't a fixed amount of wealth that is sitting out there to distribute in either a fair or unjust way. Capitalism works by incentivizing efficiencies, innovation, maximum effort, taking the risk of new ventures and investments which leads to new products. All this grows the total amount of wealth available for people to use.

    Economic growth works much like compound interest. A small difference of just 1 or 2 percent in the economy compounded over decades will mean the amount of wealth is increased exponentially.

    There is a lot of inequality in capitalism, I would say too much currently. However if you compared the economies of two nations that grew at differing levels over half a century, even if a nation had large inequalities within it the greater amount of wealth that country would have over the slower growing but maybe more equitable country would mean that the unequal country would be able to make efforts to distribute that wealth in a way that would make even the poorest better off than the average citizen of the other country. And this is the often overlooked historical story of capitalism. We are unquestionably living in the most abundant period in human history and at the same time we are far from living in a perfect world. As we look to eliminate suffering and improve life on the planet lets at least acknowledge the strategies that have worked to get us here before we toss them aside.

    These two graphs show the way that national economies have grown after adopting capitalist policies and how that has also benefited even the poor.

    Extreme global poverty has plummeted over the past few decades and is projected to be eliminated or close to it over the next couple decades if trends continue.

    Capitalism isn't perfect and people suffer, so I really appreciate your efforts to help those left behind. I like the idea of social redistribution to help the misfortunate, I just think those efforts are most effective when the fruits of capitalism pay for them.

    A couple videos I recommend to help indoctrinate explain the positive aspects to capitalism.

    ETA: I'll just add that I like the idea of inclusive growth, though I don't know how it works in the real world. Even if it is just a nice sounding buzz word I like the idea in principle.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 17

    I'll stop trying to monopolize the conversation because I feel like I tend to do that when it comes to politics. I admire your goal, and support it. Also, people are free to love capitalism if they want and think it can solve all of our problems. I'll just say I don't think it can and I hope people at least consider the possibility (e.g., check out things like Capital, Limits to Capital, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, etc.). Hundreds of years of capitalism have given us a sick planet and staggering socio-economic inequality. Good luck on using cancer to cure cancer, because capitalism behaves in much the same way re: the way it grows and damages its surroundings in the process.

    federicaGui
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @Jason said:
    I'll stop trying to monopolize the conversation because I feel like I tend to do that when it comes to politics. I admire your goal, and support it. Also, people are free to love capitalism if they want and think it can solve all of our problems. I'll just say I don't think it can and I hope people at least consider the possibility (e.g., check out things like Capital, Limits to Capital, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, etc.). Hundreds of years of capitalism have given us a sick planet and staggering socio-economic inequality. Good luck on using cancer to cure cancer, because capitalism behaves in much the same way re: the way it grows and damages its surroundings in the process.

    Capitalism, despite being a destructive system, succeeds because the so-called leftists all over the world have become social justice warriors (instead of providing real materialist analysis of economic conditions). I am using 'materialist' in the Marxist context, as opposed to idealist.

    When people associate leftists with social issues alone - no matter how progressive, such as the fight against sexism, homophobia etc. - they conclude that a viable economic alternative is yet to come. There is zero class analysis from self-styled leftists these days, no matter which country they are from; their analysis usually revolves around too much moral outrage and very little rational thought.

  • mindatriskmindatrisk Veteran
    edited September 18

    @Jason said:
    You're truly missing everything I'm saying. I know it's hard trying to look outside of a system and how it functions when you're immersed in it, but I hope you'll try. Solutions will have to come outside of the box before we destroy what's left of our environment, otherwise no amount of regulations will be able to save us.

    It's not that I'm missing what you're saying, it's that - at present - I don't see a viable way to fight capitalism. Even if capitalism is 100% evil, there is currently too much support for it for it to be simply fought and beaten. There needs to be a middle way for now. If I promote the Enough movement on a platform of anti-capitalism then I immediately have billions of opponents completely against me, some of whom are immensely powerful, who have heard all the arguments before, fought all the arguments before, and won.

    If I work on a platform of seeking compromise then I don't have those opponents, I have their ears, and if I am sincere and honest - which I am - then perhaps a healthier version of capitalism is possible, i.e. a heavily regulated capitalism. And in the mean time, if others have appealing ideas about better ways that society can be formed then maybe they can make ground. Or maybe capitalism will shoot itself in the foot.

    It is like the cold war. Russia and communism maybe have been a fierce, powerful enemy of the West, but it would have been stupid and suicidal to go toe to toe with them, so the war was fought on more ideological grounds. Yes, maybe the West could have invaded, fought and defeated Russia, but at what cost? Better to be patient, even if it means suffering in the mean time. It's the same now. To go toe to toe with capitalism would be stupid and suicidal. Whether people agree or not, like it or not, there has to be pragmatism and compromise, because there is no utopian option available.

    person
  • @Jason said:
    I'll stop trying to monopolize the conversation because I feel like I tend to do that when it comes to politics. I admire your goal, and support it. Also, people are free to love capitalism if they want and think it can solve all of our problems. I'll just say I don't think it can and I hope people at least consider the possibility (e.g., check out things like Capital, Limits to Capital, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, etc.). Hundreds of years of capitalism have given us a sick planet and staggering socio-economic inequality. Good luck on using cancer to cure cancer, because capitalism behaves in much the same way re: the way it grows and damages its surroundings in the process.

    You're not monopolising the conversation and your contributions have been very helpful, and me understanding this particular issue - or at least understanding how it fits strategically into the movement - is vital.

    I am not a supporter of capitalism and I'm not an opponent of capitalism. And for one good reason... I am wholly ignorant on the subject! Yeah I can see inequality, exploitation, greed, environmental damage, corruption etc. but I can also see a rate of development and a standard of living for humans that is unprecedented, and that is very attractive to developing nations, and continues to be very attractive to more developed nations even if what is produced by capitalism becomes further and further from necessary and closer and closer to complete rubbish.

    So, since your position is that capitalism needs to be replaced. Let's envisage how that can be done from our current position. First, i'd say there'd need to be a greater awareness of how capitalism is harming our species and our planet, and in a way that is understandable and tangible, not overly theoretical or contentious. Secondly, we'd need to argue that there are other ways to organise society that can provide the same benefits as capitalism but without the harmful elements. Any ideas?

    The only idea I have - which I fully endorse - is that most meaningful and beneficial developments in our species are motivated by passion not be money. That is, the greatest artistic, scientific and philosophical developments have come from people who were simply passionate about these subjects with little to no regard for their monetary value. I think this has the bones of a very powerful argument. We can point to pretty much every great piece of art (including music and literature), every great scientific development, and every great piece of philosophical work and claim it for the non-capitalist argument. And, in turn, we can point out the quality and results of the arts, sciences and philsophies when they are motivated by money. What do you think?

  • @techie said:

    @Jason said:
    I'll stop trying to monopolize the conversation because I feel like I tend to do that when it comes to politics. I admire your goal, and support it. Also, people are free to love capitalism if they want and think it can solve all of our problems. I'll just say I don't think it can and I hope people at least consider the possibility (e.g., check out things like Capital, Limits to Capital, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, etc.). Hundreds of years of capitalism have given us a sick planet and staggering socio-economic inequality. Good luck on using cancer to cure cancer, because capitalism behaves in much the same way re: the way it grows and damages its surroundings in the process.

    Capitalism, despite being a destructive system, succeeds because the so-called leftists all over the world have become social justice warriors (instead of providing real materialist analysis of economic conditions). I am using 'materialist' in the Marxist context, as opposed to idealist.

    When people associate leftists with social issues alone - no matter how progressive, such as the fight against sexism, homophobia etc. - they conclude that a viable economic alternative is yet to come. There is zero class analysis from self-styled leftists these days, no matter which country they are from; their analysis usually revolves around too much moral outrage and very little rational thought.

    But even when the left was focused on class issues, capitalism still won the day in the West, right? I know socialism has had a big influence, but we do still essentially live in a compromised capitalist system, irrespective of a few hundred years of 'class war'.

  • @person said:
    In an attempt to add some balance I'll contribute my own evil position.

    I'd say that capitalism is a wholly amoral system and as such can readily be used in an unethical and harmful manner. It's concern is with a productive and efficient economy, which I would argue has a certain positive moral quality to it. Economics isn't zero sum game, there isn't a fixed amount of wealth that is sitting out there to distribute in either a fair or unjust way. Capitalism works by incentivizing efficiencies, innovation, maximum effort, taking the risk of new ventures and investments which leads to new products. All this grows the total amount of wealth available for people to use.

    Economic growth works much like compound interest. A small difference of just 1 or 2 percent in the economy compounded over decades will mean the amount of wealth is increased exponentially.

    There is a lot of inequality in capitalism, I would say too much currently. However if you compared the economies of two nations that grew at differing levels over half a century, even if a nation had large inequalities within it the greater amount of wealth that country would have over the slower growing but maybe more equitable country would mean that the unequal country would be able to make efforts to distribute that wealth in a way that would make even the poorest better off than the average citizen of the other country. And this is the often overlooked historical story of capitalism. We are unquestionably living in the most abundant period in human history and at the same time we are far from living in a perfect world. As we look to eliminate suffering and improve life on the planet lets at least acknowledge the strategies that have worked to get us here before we toss them aside.

    Capitalism isn't perfect and people suffer, so I really appreciate your efforts to help those left behind. I like the idea of social redistribution to help the misfortunate, I just think those efforts are most effective when the fruits of capitalism pay for them.

    ETA: I'll just add that I like the idea of inclusive growth, though I don't know how it works in the real world. Even if it is just a nice sounding buzz word I like the idea in principle.

    Whatever the truth is - and obviously there are very differing views - I know that I cannot predicate this movement on capitalism being bad and needing to be removed. It is simply strategically naïve and self-defeating. So, at best, even I were to be convinced that capitalism is the great evil, I'd still need to approach it very carefully and patiently.

    It can't be denied that capitalism has lowered the rates of extreme poverty. From our own countries (I'm in the UK), it's clear that standards of living for the poorest are much better now than 50, 100, 150, 200 years ago. So my argument is not that capitalism cannot and does not combat poverty, but that - in the strongest, simple terms - if a concerted effort can be made to accelerate the reduction of poverty due to technological and social developments then it absolutely should be. That is all that I am saying. The ideological battles are for others. I just don't want eight million children dying of poverty every year unnecessarily. And if that means working with capitalism and seeking compromises to reduce that figure asap then that has to be the approach. I'd be happy with that, and anyone suffering extreme poverty would be happy with that.

    person
  • On a side note... I'd like to use these discussions on my website as I think they are important. I won't edit the discussions bar removing superfluous aspects, and authors can either be anonymous or accredited. Just let me know. Thanks!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @mindatrisk said:
    The only idea I have - which I fully endorse - is that most meaningful and beneficial developments in our species are motivated by passion not by money.

    The counter-argument would be that most of the great crimes came from passion too... from people like Caligula and Hitler to serial killers like James Manson. Passion is the great motivator, period.

    Compassion and kindness might be closer to the core appeal you’re trying to make, and then the biggest challenge is how to motivate people to step away from their self-interest.

  • mindatriskmindatrisk Veteran
    edited September 18

    @Kerome said:

    @mindatrisk said:
    The only idea I have - which I fully endorse - is that most meaningful and beneficial developments in our species are motivated by passion not by money.

    The counter-argument would be that most of the great crimes came from passion too... from people like Caligula and Hitler to serial killers like James Manson. Passion is the great motivator, period.

    Compassion and kindness might be closer to the core appeal you’re trying to make, and then the biggest challenge is how to motivate people to step away from their self-interest.

    Good point. What I'm referring to is a more intrinsic sense of passion, rather than what we might become passionate about, which can arise from warped conditions. I suppose it could be compared to the difference between talent and skill. Talent is something innate to us, whereas skill is something developed. I'm not sure what word I could use that expresses that better than passion.

    Compassion and kindness are vital to the ideas here, but they don't relate to the idea I'm expressing. For example, someone might be passionate about a certain technology being developed, but what motivates them would be sheer interest rather, it wouldn't necessarily be kindness and compassion (although it could be if they wanted to develop the technology for human benefit).

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    So you think that slavery shouldn't have been abolished just because it had a lot of popular support and was basically a part of our constitutional makeup? If you find that capitalism is destructive, why not challenege it even if it's popular? One thing I completely agree with you about is the need for "a greater awareness of how capitalism is harming our species and our planet," which is what I'm trying to contribute to. And if you think you can fix it and make it run counter to its own logic, I support your efforts. I just think it's naive to believe the system won't continue to work as it does without some sort of radical, structural change to the system itself.

    As I've said before, we can already reduce human labour and materially eliminate poverty, but that labour is profitable to capital and inequality is an inherent part of the system, so we still have both. I suggest we need a new way of doing things now, not only to give people more of their time back and reduce inequality and environmental degradation, but because if we don't start consciously doing it now, capital will do it for us. Like Hawking said, "Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality." And that's precisely due to the internal logic of capitalism and the institution of private property.

    We must socialize our collective wealth and democratize workplaces. We must move away from wage labour and reduce hours of labour. We must purge bullshit jobs that don't contribute anything of value to society (check out David Graeber's book on tbe subject), and jobs that might be profitable from the POV of capital but damaging to our health and environment. What that world would look like is up to us, but the underlying ideal is that all labour has dignity and the wealth we create through our labour should be for the benefit of all.

    Kundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The thing is, those who benefit from the ‘pyramid of wealth’ by which money is extracted from the working population are those who own the banks and major corporations. Which closely corresponds to the 1%. Any system which sees the main population reduce its working hours is not going to be looked upon in a favourable light by them, I would think.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Right, which is why such changes will have to take place via radical structural change to the system itself. Capitalism will have to be supplanted.

  • @Jason said:
    So you think that slavery shouldn't have been abolished just because it had a lot of popular support and was basically a part of our constitutional makeup? If you find that capitalism is destructive, why not challenege it even if it's popular? One thing I completely agree with you about is the need for "a greater awareness of how capitalism is harming our species and our planet," which is what I'm trying to contribute to. And if you think you can fix it and make it run counter to its own logic, I support your efforts. I just think it's naive to believe the system won't continue to work as it does without some sort of radical, structural change to the system itself.

    As I've said before, we can already reduce human labour and materially eliminate poverty, but that labour is profitable to capital and inequality is an inherent part of the system, so we still have both. I suggest we need a new way of doing things now, not only to give people more of their time back and reduce inequality and environmental degradation, but because if we don't start consciously doing it now, capital will do it for us. Like Hawking said, "Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality." And that's precisely due to the internal logic of capitalism and the institution of private property.

    We must socialize our collective wealth and democratize workplaces. We must move away from wage labour and reduce hours of labour. We must purge bullshit jobs that don't contribute anything of value to society (check out David Graeber's book on tbe subject), and jobs that might be profitable from the POV of capital but damaging to our health and environment. What that world would look like is up to us, but the underlying ideal is that all labour has dignity and the wealth we create through our labour should be for the benefit of all.

    At the moment I'm not knowledgeable enough about capitalism to have a position one way or another, and I generally don't think it's a good idea to follow someone else's perspective without your own investigation. So, at present I have no basis for regarding capitalism as an evil like slavery, and I'm not sure it is a reasonable comparison even from my limited current perspective. If, however, I came to the independent conclusion that capitalism is a great evil (which I probably would do) then I would of course protest it, but it would still be in a strategic manner. We already have A LOT of anti-capitalists and yet capitalism marches on. Why? Because their efforts to combat capitalism are not strategically sound. If you know of a way to end capitalism then feel free to share it with me, and if I think it is viable then I'll absolutely go for it... if after independent research I am certain of it's terribleness.

    Certainly in reading your words we are at least thematically in agreement and certainly so in spirit. My concern is to be effective. At the moment - and I'm open to ideas to the counter - I don't see how capitalism can be ended. So, rather than attempt to leap humanity forwards by a dozen steps and fail, I'd rather make successful incremental progress. It's not too different to the spiritual path. We start at one and want to get to one hundred and be enlightened, but for anyone who has been on this path for a while knows... there is no skipping those steps!

    Personally speaking, you are the sort of person that I want to work with. As I've stated in relation to potential opponents, I am open to compromise, cooperation and finding common ground. There is not much difference between you and I, and the differences do not weaken us, but simply provide us both with more points of perspective and ideas. But I am ultimately a pragmatist. My vision is big but the steps I will take will be deliberate and careful, and designed to be effective. I have no interest in being another voice in history - even if my voice were to be right and respected. I want results.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited September 18

    Is the ending of capitalism not inherent in your stated aim of human beings no longer struggling to survive, @mindatrisk ? Capitalism is certainly responsible for a lot of struggle by the poor in developed nations, and a redistribution of wealth and working time along the lines you and @Jason have been discussing would seem to require at the very best a form of “managed capitalism” that would seem extreme even to those living in socialist democracies.

  • @Kerome said:
    Is the ending of capitalism not inherent in your stated aim of human beings no longer struggling to survive, @mindatrisk ? Capitalism is certainly responsible for a lot of struggle by the poor in developed nations, and a redistribution of wealth and working time along the lines you and @Jason have been discussing would seem to require at the very best a form of “managed capitalism” that would seem extreme even to those living in socialist democracies.

    When I first had the realisation a few years ago that human beings no longer needed to struggle to survive my biggest battle was my feelings of guilt about how inadequate I was and how unable I felt to even get it started, let alone achieve it. I knew that every day that I was inactive tens of thousands were dying because of perfectly preventable poverty, and that, even if I one day succeeded with my mission, in the mean time, countless millions would have died. I had to make peace with this and accept the realities of our world situation, and my own limitations. Then a few months ago I was at the Sagrada Familia and was reading about how the artist and designer had left a 100 year plan for its completion, and I understood that there are somethings in life - things that are truly worth accomplishing and that will be lasting - take a long time to achieve.

    These realisations slowed me down. They helped me to see the importance of long term planning, and of taking correct, careful and sound steps... that it was the means that made the end, and that without the correct means the end result is weak, unstable, and fleeting. It would take a miracle for this vision to be achieved in my life time. Accepting this, and accepting the need for a methodical, wise approach and process that allows me to now see what is the right thing to do... it might not be the quickest, the most popular, the most eye-catching, but it is the right brick in the right place done with care and skill, and when all the bricks are eventually laid, what is left is a building that will last.

    I hope you see the point I am making here. What I am aiming for is not going to be achieved quickly, and it will never be achieved at all if it is hurried or done with carelessness. I want progress and results, and the easiest way to make progress and gain results is to have as close to universal support as is possible. The hardest way to attain results is to have opponents. For a few hundred years now some of the greatest minds to have lived have opposed capitalism, and with all their intelligence and devotion here it remains, dominant and growing stronger. Capitalists know that their model needs updating and adapting. They are aware of their opponents, and they know that they are one more big economic crash away from having a revolution on their hands. I am sure that I will find them open minded and agreeable to finding a middle way forwards, and I truly believe that this movement will be much stronger for having them onboard than it will be for having them in opposition.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Then I’d suggest making ‘managed capitalism’ a cornerstone of your policy package. Why those words? The inclusion of the term ‘capitalism’ means you’ll still be seen as one of them, while ‘managed’ gives an impression of correctly channelled in the modern sense of the word. The resonance of a phrase can be quite important...

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