Capitalism is freedom?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by shichimenshyo, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, just about every person and legal entity has the right to not be robbed, defrauded, etc. Corporations are no different.

    And while an absence of corporations, in and of itself, wouldn't prevent a nation from being considered "capitalist", I'd say that a ban on corporations would. The existence of corporations doesn't violate the rights of others, so a ban would be anti-capitalist in nature.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    How would violating someone's rights be anti-capitalist?

    I can see where violating the rights of a pile of capital could be construed as anti-capitalist, but the connection between that and the rights of "others" is not simple or obvious, off hand.

    And as corporations do not exist except as established by a State's legal "recognition" of them, I don't see where the notion of "banning" them is meaningful - are you thinking of anti-racketeering laws? Laws against organized criminal enterprise?
     
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  5. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    The point of capitalism is the protection of individual rights in economic affairs.

    Don't play dumb.

    It's an unnecessary (with regard to protecting peoples' rights) regulation of economic affairs, thus anti-capitalist.
     
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  7. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not clear as to why you say "unwary and unwise." But I assume you do realize that there are different types/categories - like a PLC. LLC, and "sub-chapter S" corporations.
     
  8. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    We could put a limit on the size of them
    as originally intended give them temporary status, a status that could be revoked
    and eliminate their protections as persons.
     
  9. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Incorporation allows one to NOT be personally responsible.
     
  10. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    And so we have a situation like today where corporations have more freedoms and power and representation than individuals. We no longer have a democracy but rather an oligarchy. We have spent so much effort - or really they have - making sure they are free they now have control of the government. They even choose war and which ones. Then they collaborate with the people they put in office to figure out how to lie and sell the war to individuals. Since they control the media, or are the media, this is generally effective.
     
  11. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    I would start by defining freedom as the ability to do whatever the heck you want whenever you want, with absolutely no external inhibitions or prohibitions. That would logically include activities such as murder. Obviously, no one individual can have 100% freedom without denying that same right from others, so there's no such thing as complete "freedom" in a society. All you can try to do is maximize the rights of as many individuals as possible, and there's no single definition of what the optimal balance should be.

    As far as capitalism and freedom in a more limited sense are concerned... I think it's perfectly reasonable that a person command whatever price they feel like in order to perform a service for someone else. And the person receiving the service is perfectly within their rights to refuse the service if they think the price is unreasonable, no violations of any real freedoms there. Additionally, I think one can consider freedom protected when someone declares something to be their own property, provided that particular piece of property wouldn't have been available in their absence, and if the resources used to make that property are not denied to others as a result of its manufacture. The one key area where I think capitalism runs into a head-on collision with freedom is in the area of resource management.

    There's no universal logical criteria by which a select group of individuals can lay claim to a previously unused piece of land and/or the resources therein, while denying the same right to others. For instance, there's no logical right by which a nation, company or individual can point to an iron mine and say "This mine and its contents belong to us, no one else is allowed to trespass here". Such statements are an undeniable rejection of freedom, denying people access to a piece of nature and its fruits. We're a collectivized society by nature, except for the few of us who choose to live in a wooden shack in the middle of nowhere. We make deals with the Devil wherein we're willing to sacrifice our natural rights to the fruits of the Earth and instead allot them to select individuals, on the grounds that most of these people will make productive use of the resources in a way that benefits the rest of us.
     
  12. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Sure there is. Who built the mine? Who owns the land? As John Locke argued, even if we're dealing with settlers in a new land, the property belongs to the person that improves it by building structures, mines, whatever.
     
  13. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    Exactly, as by the labor theory of property and the homesteading principle.
     
  14. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    If a company signs a contract with the government to set up mines on a piece of land, they are denying the use of that land to other people for other purposes, which clearly violates freedom. In fact, even denying others the right to mine the same piece of land is a denial of freedom. If there were abundant plots of land available for others to do their thing, it would be fine, but that's not the reality we live in. If I want diamonds, there's no nearby deposits of them I can readily claim as my own, and even if there were, I'd still need to go through many layers of government approval and spend an enormous amount of capital just to claim the rights.

    Does first come, first serve really give some fundamental right to a corporation to claim ownership of a piece of land and the resources therein? How can they declare natural resources to be their own while they're still sitting in the ground waiting to be extracted? Who sets the boundaries on these claims? If they survey the ground and find a deposit of iron, and estimate its size, that means they get first dibs on the whole thing? If I'm sailing in a boat and I spot a previously undiscovered tropical island from a distance, does the whole thing suddenly become my exclusive property? When the government assigns a lease on a piece of land, it would only be consistent with freedom if it were true that no one else would have had a use or need for that same land later on. Sure a corporation pays the government for its lease, but that just formalizes the process of taking a piece of property that everyone initially has an equal claim to, and keeping the bulk of the resource value for themselves.

    Don't mistake this for a diatribe against capitalism, though. I can't personally think of a better system for harnessing the power of human aspirations, and in practice we have institutions in place to moderate its more selfish aspects. I'm merely arguing that capitalism isn't some sort of natural freedom that can be justified from first principles.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently we are to understand that certain political theories expressed in particular ways are universal logical criteria. This must be what makes capitalism, while superficially a theory for guiding the pragmatically beneficial State management of this stuff we call money, into a universal establishment of human freedom by logic.

    For illustrations of this profound insight in action, see "banana republic", "oil state", "sugar plantation", the "The Dutch East India Company", "The Standard Oil Corporation", the history of the Volkswagon automobile, and so forth.
     
  16. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    The criteria is force.
     
  17. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    and locke as a product of his time didn't think any non european had rights. Just because people don't feel they can own a segment of the land doesn't mean you have the right to take it by force and prevent them from using it. The native american views on property were far healthier and better than the European ones IMO
     
  18. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    If we were trying to create a utopia or a prosperous society, incentivizing improvement to the land would be the primary purpose for creating the institution of private land ownership. Minimizing fights over use of the land would be another reason. Incentivizing human efforts to produce wealth would be a reason to allow inheritance of land ownership.

    But we should not forget that every baby has as much right to the land as any other baby. That is why we should compensate those born poor for being born poor if we want to be fair and just. The purpose of being fair and just is to avoid fights over over control of resources and to incentivize full participation and support for the system of agreed behaviors and laws intended to promote prosperity and happiness. The system should take a little something but not too much from those who succeeded within the system because they were well suited to succeed within the system and the system should use this little something to incentive the continuing participation in and cooperation with the system by those who are not well suited to work within the system.

    Second chances also help avoid fights and create support for and participation in the prosperity and happiness creating system. A baby my for whatever reason squander his chance to be a land owning participant in society by the time the baby turns thirty but if the thirty year old is not given a second chance to succeed within the system it would not be unreasonable for that thirty year old to become an outlaw who refuses to work within the system.

    Hence a little bit of socialism if doe intelligently is good for society.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  19. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Not only 'no', but ....HELL NO!! Every bady does NOT have as much right to the land as any other baby!

    Every baby should have the right ...to TRY... to own land. If one is not as smart or as hard a worker or saves enough money, etc, the other one should win the "contest". They have an equal ...CHANCE. After that, it's a battle and to the winner goes the spoils. And that's as it should be.

    So what are you saying here? ..that lazy bastards who turn 30-yrs old can threaten the entire society with becoming an outlaw so that they'll pay him something or give him some land? Huh? Are you taking economy lessons from the Somalia pirates these days?

    So you approve of a government stealing money from some in order to give that money to others? And lazy bastards are rewarded for their laziness, while the workers are punished for their hard work by having to give up more of their money for the lazy bastards? Wow.

    Baron Max
     
  20. Try Again No, I'm not a mod. Registered Senior Member

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    True freedom gives you what you earn. Freedom is not redistributing the wealth. The money I earn is my money, although helping other people is good; it's my choice to help people with my money, not the government's.

    I want to own my own land, I don't want to be taxed on something that's mine for greedy government officials. Taxing the rich and giving it to the the poor is stupid; it's socialism.

    Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

    The state is continually getting more land from the people. They are supposed to represent us, not steal our land.

    Communism: a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

    I got all of these definitions from dictionary(dot)com. Sorry, I can't post links. I need 20 posts to post any links.



    I had to remove the urls in the quotes, it wont allow me to post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    That isn't socialism. Read your own definition.

    And it isn't nearly as stupid as taxing the poor and giving it to the rich, eh?

    How about if we tax the beneficiaries of the economy - such as the rich - for the maintenance of it - such as schools and roads?

    Right now, in the US we aren't even taxing the rich to pay for their oil war in Iraq.
     
  22. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    It could be stupider; for instance, taxing an entrepreneur like Bill Gates, who has contributed greatly, to give to a pothead is stupid.

    People maintain the economy; thus entrepreneurs contribute, thus they contribute to the economy, and their reward is their wealth. We need not tax them; they do not owe us anything. They are rich because of their own efforts.
     
  23. Try Again No, I'm not a mod. Registered Senior Member

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    91
    a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
     

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