This topic contains 15 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Katy 7 months ago.

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  • #286

    mick
    Participant

    I suspect at the root of many peoples problem with socialism or communism or leftism is that many remember the 70s and 80s, Red Robo and that stuff, and soviet era skodas and Ladas gave an idea of what that system could do.

    However most western economies are massively in debt, and the one that is not that comes to mind, Norway, has had a windfall from Oil. And even here, if Norway had to compensate the world for the damage done by the CO2 that they have released, I suspect they would be skint.

    Then I read this https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/jan/16/bankrupted-by-giving-birth-having-premature-twins-cost-me-everything?CMP=fb_gu $2.5 million plus, to save 2 16 month premature babies, really, no matter how its funded, can any system afford that, long term.

    What I wonder is this. Is our lifestyle sustainable, not just environmentally, but financially, long term. Could any system deliver it, left or right, socialist or capitalist . Or is it just a huge Ponzi scam with a can being kicked down the road, that eventually someone somewhere sometime, is going to have to deal with.

    Capitalism or Communism what would you pick?

  • #287

    bigmouth
    Participant

    Communism gets a bad reputation, but actually the idea behind it is great, it’s jus that people are greedy. I’d suggest that some sort of Scandinavian model with higher taxes is probably the most sustainable, but I am no economist!

    On the medical story that you linked, surely the idea of an NHS or something similar is that most people won’t cost the system such massive amounts as these guys did, so shared amongst the whole population it is affordable (if the governement actually funds the system rather than trying to run in into the ground!). Also, to what extent are American medical costs inflated by the drugs and insurance companies? This is a genuine question, maybe they are not, but I am suspicious that they might be! Whether they are or not, what a good advert for why we must fight tooth and nail for our NHS!!

  • #288

    chris
    Participant

    On an admittedly very simplistic level, there is no global deficit, only balance. We owe, while China (or UAE or any other cash and/or resource rich nation) lends. If we default, our lenders’ wealth diminishes but the sum remains the same as our debts get written off.

    It’s resources you should be focused on. When the rate of asset consumption exceeds the capacity for asset creation, then the global economy must go into reverse. Again a simplification.

  • #289

    isac
    Participant

    Is our lifestyle sustainable, not just environmentally, but financially, long term.

    Not environmentally, but financially yes. We just need to reinvent money.

    Currently money is the Ponzi scam. Its value has long since broken from a correlation with a value for work done. This what has led us to believe poor people owe rich people lots of money and the world is in debt to itself.

    I like this meme…

    https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/49048388/the-world-is-300-trillion-dollars-in-debt-who-do-we-owe.jpg

  • #290

    dave
    Participant

    What I wonder is this. Is our lifestyle sustainable, not just environmentally, but financially, long term. Could any system deliver it, left or right, socialist or capitalist . Or is it just a huge Ponzi scam with a can being kicked down the road, that eventually someone somewhere sometime, is going to have to deal with.

    Not really, imho. Nothing to do with capitalism vs socialism. Financial cost is simply a proxy for supply and demand of finite resources (broadly, obviously there are various distortions that come into this) and as population continues to increase and expectations of living standards rise, resources become ‘increasingly finite.’ Everyone can’t have everything.

    Regarding medical treatment specifically, it is a significant problem for the NHS that many expect cutting edge treatment to be available to them whatever the cost/benefit reality, simply because it does exist.

  • #291

    mick
    Participant

    Financial cost is simply a proxy for supply and demand of finite resources (broadly, obviously there are various distortions that come into this) and as population continues to increase and expectations of living standards rise, resources become ‘increasingly finite.’

    On reflection I totally agree, that money is a proxy for something else, one of those things being environmental cost, which currently is externalised by the west, and the cost born by poorer less powerful people, eg those in Sub Saharan africa. I wonder how much health care $2.5 never mind $2.5 million, will buy in Sub Saharan Africa?

  • #292

    elly
    Participant

    Communism gets a bad reputation, but actually the idea behind it is great, it’s jus that people are greedy. I’d suggest that some sort of Scandinavian model with higher taxes is probably the most sustainable, but I am no economist!

    Communism is the most murderous idea. It cost over 100 000 000 lives and the score is not finished yet. And don´ t tell me I am (or my friends and relatives) greedy because I lived in shity communist state witch didn´ t work

  • #293

    sam
    Participant

    @elly The idea behind it wasn’t to murder milllions though. The idea was to create a state of equals, which is a great idea. The problem was the leaders who didn’t implement equality, they just saw an opportunity to instal a dictatorship.

  • #294

    mick
    Participant

    @elly I think the point is that there are greedy people out there, who end up controlling things, socialist, capitailist or communist. And thats what buggers the job up.

  • #295

    elly
    Participant

    @sam @mick No, the idea behind communism is that it must be installed violently because capitalists do not give up their property voluntarily. Read Marx.

    Communism is “dictatorship of the proletariat”

  • #296

    troll
    Participant

    @elly The idea is that all people should be equal!

    I’m not saying I agree with how Marx suggested it should be implemented, but I do agree with the idea behind it.

    I have spent large amounts of time living in Russia, I do understand how bad it was for the countries that followed it, but this is not due to the idea of equality for all, but due to the inability of people to treat everyone equally and fairly

  • #297

    sam
    Participant

    I watched one of those survival programs based on stone age life. What struck me was that in the program the lazy , self centred and workshy ones seemed to survive better than those who worked hard finding food etc. They worked themselves to the bone while the others nicked the food and lay about conserving energy. I guess in the real stone age those tossers would have been tossed out of the tribe. Anyway, so any system has to account for negative traits of humans as well and there will always be some who try to exploit the system for personal gain.

  • #298

    kerry
    Participant

    @mick Financially: yes, money is just a tool, like all tools it can be modified or used differently as the user chooses.

    Environmentally: Not even close at present levels of consumption without almost unimaginable changes to the care taken in extracting, consuming and reusing resources. With that… maybe but I’ve no idea how we get there since that ‘we’ has to be a global we and we’re not global or instinctively cooperative at scale, we’re tribal and we fight to stay that way. I’d like to think education can balance if not totally counteract instinct but even universal education in a world of entrenched inequality will not suffice and fixing that inequality quickly without seriously exacerbating the environmental challenges or frightening those with privilege and the power to disrupt that process (includes you and me) seems insurmountable. Hopefully brighter minds can be applied to finding a clearer path, we don’t have long and we have much work to do.

  • #299

    elly
    Participant

    The idea is that all people should be equal!

    @troll But people are not equall in their skills, motivation, endurance, intelligence, knowledge etc. How could they be equally rewarded? The only way is to make uneqal rules disadvantaging those more capable and that´ s a worm in shiny apple of communism which causes that all attempts to install it fail to ugly dictatorship every time

    The road to hell is usually paved with good intentions

  • #300

    troll
    Participant

    @elly Indeed they are not, but does that make them any less valuable as people? I see the principle behind communism as vauling the person and ensuring that all have a decent quality of life, regardless of whether they are not so clever, sick, injured etc.

    The practicalities of this have been shown not to work so well, but the idea behind it really appeals.

  • #307

    Katy
    Participant

    Communism is the most murderous idea. It cost over 100 000 000 lives and the score is not finished yet.

    How many lives have been lost due to capitalism, and still are being? Blood diamond, arms dealing, slavery!

    I’m not suggesting communism is the answer, but I don’t think it’s got the trophy for “Deaths of Social Systems Award”,, if not I think it’s closely followed by a few others.

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