Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
walking around here, either. On the other hand I think that Colman's point is substantive. (No evidence presented, but it's understandable and supportable IMO.)

You bring in ethics and 'evil'. Colman did not. The fact that I agree with you and your response is 'off thread' - however brilliantly written (as usual).

Capitalism is mostly criticized (or derided) on this site for several good reasons. First, from the purely historical viewpoint, here we are. Even if I was a Rockefeller, I would not be happy/satisfied with the current state of the world. Can't really blame the Communists or the "Nobility" for it. Even the local dictators play a minor role. The capitalist plutocracy is driving this thing.

Second, from a theory-of-capitalism viewpoint, the idea is to pull a % return from the use of capital - no limit in time, only 'market limits' on portion size, no regard for extraneous concerns, no regard for the effect of private accumulation on the 'health' of the total system. (If you go back to Adam Smith, there are some constraints; but practice - again - shows more about the loss of those constraints than their use.)

Third - a kind-of strawman, but, again, historical - the accumulation of wealth is in a spiral cycle with concentration of influence. This can apply to any economic system, but here we are at the endpoint (where the past meets the future) of capitalistic hegemony.  C. Wright Mills described this tendency over 50 years ago and predicted the current situation.

For me - I think that capitalism (small c) has a useful niche. It is a reasonable system for deployment of innovation, given a time limit for exclusive exploitation, plus application of regulations concerning environmental impact, health and safety, and such. It is OK - maybe optimal, maybe not - for trade in non-essential items (essential items = food (nutrition), water, health-care, shelter, underwear).

Beyond that, either strong regulation, socialism, or Chris' scheme.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 04:28:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are ways in which self-organizing systems can be conservative. SOS is a kind of free market. I am coming to the conclusion - for practical business applications - that both a horizontal and a vertical system are needed - intertwined at some level. Like my Dutch cops recognizing SOS as the way they create flexibility, speed and robustness with former colleagues in other jurisdictions, by bypassing the hierarchy in which they work.

In nature there are both packs and flocks. And they co-inhabit in all the space of any ecosystem.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 05:09:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
plus we need something like permanent revolution - not exactly that, but something like a low-O2 detector that says, "Hey, we're approaching a dangerous situation. We need to reconsider the current business model."

paul spencer
by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 06:05:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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