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    In both Capital and the Communist Manifesto, Marx stated that capitalism as a mode of production was inherently flawed. He predicted that the exploitation of the proletariat would eventually lead to proletarian revolution. Moreover, his predictions were targeted at developed Western countries such as Germany and Britain yet there have been no socialist revolutions in Britain for example.

    To me, this represents a problem as I am a socialist. I would like to know, in your opinion, how has capitalism as a system managed to survive?

    In my opinion, the capitalist mode of production is predicated on the perpetuation of materialism and the attachment of the people to materialism has allowed capitalism to survive as a mode of production. What is your view?
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    (Original post by DrSwitched)
    In both Capital and the Communist Manifesto, Marx stated that capitalism as a mode of production was inherently flawed. He predicted that the exploitation of the proletariat would eventually lead to proletarian revolution. Moreover, his predictions were targeted at developed Western countries such as Germany and Britain yet there have been no socialist revolutions in Britain for example.

    To me, this represents a problem as I am a socialist. I would like to know, in your opinion, how has capitalism as a system managed to survive?

    In my opinion, the capitalist mode of production is predicated on the perpetuation of materialism and the attachment of the people to materialism has allowed capitalism to survive as a mode of production. What is your view?
    Marx probably underestimated the way capitalism would globalise and thus slow down (or rather make more complex) the antagonistic economic relations which were emerging within more narrowly national or regional contexts. While in Marx's day it made sense to look at economically generating class conflict in the same towns, cities and countries, this has become many times more complicated as the relationships between those who own and those who work are spread across the globe (and in ever shifting patterns).

    There's also a danger of assuming that because the crises of capitalism haven't come to an ultimate conflict yet that it thus isn't going to happen at all - Marx didn't set a date, he merely observed the way capitalism generated conflicts systemically and projected those into some future catastrophic or transformative crisis.

    Capitalism appears to be heavily wedded to growth and consumerism, both of which have serious environmental implications, even setting aside the economic and social considerations. To this extent capitalism invests hugely in marketing propaganda to convince us that we need all kinds of things which we often really don't, or that we do but only because capitalist arrangements demand them of us - like motorcars for example.
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    Or that Marx was wrong. Capitalism doesn't exploit, it enables. People get more out of capitalism than what they put in. If you have more skills, you get paid more. If you work longer, you get paid more. If you save money, then you can invest it and capitalism will work very well for you.

    In order for capitalism to survive, people have to save and invest. No matter how highly paid your job is if you spend all your money, you are no more than a slave. Capitalism rewards those who learn to play the game.

    So learn to play the game.
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    I'm just putting this out there:
    We're all wage slaves, burdened by massive debt. (Well, for the vast majority of people this is the case)
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    (Original post by therealOG)
    I'm just putting this out there:
    We're all wage slaves, burdened by massive debt. (Well, for the vast majority of people this is the case)
    But it's within everyone's reach to turn it around.

    Remember. Pay yourself first.

    When it comes to financial happiness the formula is as follows:

    Learn to live off of 70% of your income.
    Save/invest 10%.
    Pay off debt with 10%.
    Give 10% to charity.

    When debt is paid off, add this to your savings percentage.
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    Or that Marx was wrong. Capitalism doesn't exploit, it enables. People get more out of capitalism than what they put in. If you have more skills, you get paid more. If you work longer, you get paid more. If you save money, then you can invest it and capitalism will work very well for you.

    In order for capitalism to survive, people have to save and invest. No matter how highly paid your job is if you spend all your money, you are no more than a slave. Capitalism rewards those who learn to play the game.

    So learn to play the game.
    Whether or not capitalism exploits, turns on how you define exploitation of course, but given that some become very rich doing very little through the low pay and hard graft of many others at least suggests that something inequitable is going on. Personally I like to take the issue of exploitation all the way back to private property - the monopolisation of the earth and its resources by the few, and to the forced alienation of the many, creates the conditions of exploitation of non-owners by owners. This way of defining capitalism as exploitative is water-tight in my view.

    One useful analogy of capitalism is to think of it as a game of monopoly, only it is a game which we must play to survive and in which some come to the board already loaded with the resources necessary to ensure their advantage and the increase of their advantage. Yes, we can 'learn to play the game' and hope that through monumental hard work or luck we can make it, or we can question the nature of a game that is systemically unfair.

    On a practical note, the relationship of necessity between productivity and labour demand has for some time been fading, thanks to advances in technology and organisation. Capitalism increasingly needs a smaller percentage among those who seek labour, regardless of whether they are able or willing to 'work hard' or have the necessary skills (and we should note that the skills capitalism needs is in constant change - skills which have proved difficult or expensive to develop can quickly become redundant).

    It's not going to end well, that much is certain.
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    But it's within everyone's reach to turn it around.

    Remember. Pay yourself first.

    When it comes to financial happiness the formula is as follows:

    Learn to live off of 70% of your income.
    Save/invest 10%.
    Pay off debt with 10%.
    Give 10% to charity.

    When debt is paid off, add this to your savings percentage.
    Nick Clegg I want my £9000 a year back!!!!!!!!!!! :cry2:
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Whether or not capitalism exploits, turns on how you define exploitation of course, but given that some become very rich doing very little through the low pay and hard graft of many others at least suggests that something inequitable is going on. Personally I like to take the issue of exploitation all the way back to private property - the monopolisation of the earth and its resources by the few, and to the forced alienation of the many, creates the conditions of exploitation of non-owners by owners. This way of defining capitalism as exploitative is water-tight in my view.

    One useful analogy of capitalism is to think of it as a game of monopoly, only it is a game which we must play to survive and in which some come to the board already loaded with the resources necessary to ensure their advantage and the increase of their advantage. Yes, we can 'learn to play the game' and hope that through monumental hard work or luck we can make it, or we can question the nature of a game that is systemically unfair.

    On a practical note, the relationship of necessity between productivity and labour demand has for some time been fading, thanks to advances in technology and organisation. Capitalism increasingly needs a smaller percentage among those who seek labour, regardless of whether they are able or willing to 'work hard' or have the necessary skills (and we should note that the skills capitalism needs is in constant change - skills which have proved difficult or expensive to develop can quickly become redundant).

    It's not going to end well, that much is certain.
    Your missing the point though, anyone can join the few. No one said it is easy, but nothing in life worth having is easy. It takes discipline and hard work. Very few people make it due to luck compared to those that worked hard and took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

    I think we've discussed your technology point before and also how to solve structural unemployment. If people refuse to move or retrain, you can't really help them can you?
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    But it's within everyone's reach to turn it around.

    Remember. Pay yourself first.

    When it comes to financial happiness the formula is as follows:

    Learn to live off of 70% of your income.
    Save/invest 10%.
    Pay off debt with 10%.
    Give 10% to charity.

    When debt is paid off, add this to your savings percentage.
    Unfortunately the vast majority of people do not have sufficient information and/or knowledge to manage their wealth appropriately in order to reduce their debt burdens. The capitalist institutions would like to keep it that way.
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    (Original post by Chazzer66)
    Nick Clegg I want my £9000 a year back!!!!!!!!!!! :cry2:


    Average graduate salary is £25,000.

    After you pay Income Tax, NI & your Student loan repayments you're left with £1,538 PM.

    Live off £1,076 PM

    If you have any personal debt then pay off £153 per month.

    Save/Invest £153 per month.

    Give £153 per month to charities you admire.

    Once you've paid off your debt you can save £306 PM.

    It's doable.
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    Your missing the point though, anyone can join the few. No one said it is easy, but nothing in life worth having is easy. It takes discipline and hard work. Very few people make it due to luck compared to those that worked hard and took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

    I think we've discussed your technology point before and also how to solve structural unemployment. If people refuse to move or retrain, you can't really help them can you?
    I think I understand the point perfectly; capitalism is a game in which everyone can 'play' (indeed must play). And, even if some start out with the advantage of resources which will all but ensure their success, and even if some start out with the disadvantage of weak or no resources which will all but ensure their lack of success, we can still be happy in the knowledge that some small numbers, through their desperate hard work (above and beyond that of the well-resourced we should note), or through sheer luck, will against the odds 'win' out in the competition.

    I've answered all this in my 100m race analogy elsewhere at this forum and which I'll happily dig out for you if you like

    As for technology - relocation and retraining are not proving very satisfactory solutions; advances are simply doing away with the need for labour relative to production. And, besides, how do you expect people to love capitalism if for them it means repeated episodes of unemployment and underemployment, repeated episodes of redundancy and relocation, repeated episodes of expensive or time-consuming retraining? You have to ask yourself under such circumstances, who is the capitalist system working for exactly? It's certainly not working very well for these people.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    if some start out with the disadvantage of weak or no resources which will all but ensure their lack of success
    This is where we disagree. How will this ensure their lack of success? Do you assume people don't gain new skills, can't educate themselves, can't start a business?


    As for technology - relocation and retraining are not proving very satisfactory solutions; advances are simply doing away with the need for labour relative to production. And, besides, how do you expect people to love capitalism if for them it means repeated episodes of unemployment and underemployment, repeated episodes of redundancy and relocation, repeated episodes of expensive or time-consuming retraining? You have to ask yourself under such circumstances, who is the capitalist system working for exactly? It's certainly not working very well for these people.


    They are not proving satisfactory solutions because people are too comfortable on benefits to consider moving or retraining.

    It works for people with capital. The clue is in the name.

    My solution would be to encourage savings so that everyone becomes true capitalists. In this country no one saves any more, in China people save 20% of their income. If people earning far less than us, with a higher proportion of living costs to income than we do can save (and thus fuel the incredible growth in their country), then why can't we save?

    How many people do you think fall into this spiral of unemployment/underemployment?
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    Because capitalism does not lead to the concentration of power in the hands of one monopoly, like Marx thought it did.
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    Read Elster. He destroys Marx on this.
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    What alternative to capitalism is there?

    I would say that capitalism does function a lot of economic growth, however I think it has survived since it provides great productivity and abundance. More so than any other economic system ever implemented. I think allocating resources on a supply and demand basis makes the most sense, since supplying resources on a need basis is too vague and subjective.
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    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    Read Elster. He destroys Marx on this.
    Any particular piece? I'd like to read this.
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    Or that Marx was wrong. Capitalism doesn't exploit, it enables. People get more out of capitalism than what they put in. If you have more skills, you get paid more. If you work longer, you get paid more. If you save money, then you can invest it and capitalism will work very well for you.

    In order for capitalism to survive, people have to save and invest. No matter how highly paid your job is if you spend all your money, you are no more than a slave. Capitalism rewards those who learn to play the game.

    So learn to play the game.
    I would agree with all of this when viewing the west, where generally the poorest are able to benefit from capitalism if they make the most of it. However, capitalism does make massive usage of slave labour where people have no bargaining power to improve their wages to a point where they can save and get a leg up onto the good side of capitalism. 1/3 of India lives off less than $1 a day, yet in the same country has the fastest growing rate of millionaires. They are exploited by capitalism for if they don't want to work for 80c a day, they will die and be replaced by those who are happy to work for 75c.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Any particular piece? I'd like to read this.
    If you're up for something heavy then Making sense of Marx but if you want a decent intro then An introduction to Karl Marx.
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    (Original post by DrSwitched)
    In both Capital and the Communist Manifesto, Marx stated that capitalism as a mode of production was inherently flawed. He predicted that the exploitation of the proletariat would eventually lead to proletarian revolution. Moreover, his predictions were targeted at developed Western countries such as Germany and Britain yet there have been no socialist revolutions in Britain for example.

    To me, this represents a problem as I am a socialist. I would like to know, in your opinion, how has capitalism as a system managed to survive?

    In my opinion, the capitalist mode of production is predicated on the perpetuation of materialism and the attachment of the people to materialism has allowed capitalism to survive as a mode of production. What is your view?
    firstly, Marx's analysis of capitalism was flawed. he argued that recessions would get progressively worse; which they have not because growth almost always exceeds any contraction that happens afterward. free-market capitalism is superior to all other forms of production because it responds best to price signals, demand and supply; thus making it more efficient than 'planned' economic systems like communism.

    secondly, your assertion that the only reason why capitalism has flourished is because of materialism is a flawed conception. materialism is not a feature of capitalism, it is a feature of human nature. you have it the other way round. Capitalism has spread throughout the world because firms have managed to respond to consumer needs because of the profit motive that is signaled by demand; things are only produced because people want them. firms have responded to consumer needs in ways which would not be possible if capitalist economies became 'planned'.
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    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    If you're up for something heavy then Making sense of Marx but if you want a decent intro then An introduction to Karl Marx.
    i had a feeling that Nozick libertarians would sniff this thread out:cool:
 
 
 
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