Is Capitalism just Feudalism by another name? Watch

Martyn*
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
I think you're going down the wrong road if you think about how 'hard' work is rather than how productive it is.

You wouldn't conclude, for example, that it was better to transport a ton of coal from New York to Chicago by employing 100 men to carry it on their backs rather than to pay one person to drive a truck full of it, surely?

The former is clearly harder. But the latter is vastly faster and cheaper. It's very simple.
That is mainly due to modern machine production. It is easier and cheaper to transport that coal via truck driven by one person, thanks to the advancement of technology.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Martyn*)
That is mainly due to modern machine production. It is easier and cheaper to transport that coal via truck driven by one person, thanks to the advancement of technology.
Surely you can understand my point, however? That we mustn't confuse labour and production?
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member520746
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
This is the very nature of competition. Those that can shall profit, and those that cannot shall fail.

I don't know why you think this is a bad thing.
It creates a society of workers rather than a society of traders. Decentralisation is the essence of capitalism, monopoly is an aberration
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Martyn*
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
Surely you can understand my point, however? That we mustn't confuse labour and production?
They are co-related.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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#25
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(Original post by Martyn*)
They are co-related.
Not necessarily.

If a virtuso pianist can make an audience of 100,000 people happy enough to part with £1 for five minutes of entertainment, his product is 100,000 entertained people. His reward is £100,000.

If a coal miner can extract X tons of coal per month, his reward cannot be sensibly greater than the market value of his product - the coal - whatever that happens to be.

The 'labour' of a coal miner is greater in a physical sense than that of the pianist that has merely sat down and perfomed a piece - but his production is arguably far lower.
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rmpr97
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#26
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It's these same people who bash capitalism and go 'how likely is it becoming CEO's of big companies?. 'Why do footballers and singers get paid so much?' 'Why do cleaners not get paid as much?'

It's all your fault. For buying CEO's products, for watching football. For not valuing cleaners because they're disposable.

As a society we all allow this to happen.

Instead of bashing it, either come up with an alternative or fuggedaboutit.
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Martyn*
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#27
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
Not necessarily.

If a virtuso pianist can make an audience of 100,000 people happy enough to part with £1 for five minutes of entertainment, his product is 100,000 entertained people. His reward is £100,000.

If a coal miner can extract X tons of coal per month, his reward cannot be sensibly greater than the market value of his product - the coal - whatever that happens to be.

The 'labour' of a coal miner is greater in a physical sense than that of the pianist that has merely sat down and perfomed a piece - but his production is arguably far lower.
But they are co-related.
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Bart1331
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#28
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I resent the fact that people are expected to give their best, in return for the minimum payment. Perhaps a better system would be if you pay minimum wage, you get minimum effort from the employee in return
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Oswy
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#29
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#29
(Original post by JCC-MGS)
It creates a society of workers rather than a society of traders. Decentralisation is the essence of capitalism, monopoly is an aberration
The Cheer-leaders for capitalism want us to believe that monopolies (as well as duopolies, cartels, syndicates and the like and of which there are plenty) are an aberration, but they're not. It is an inevitable consequence of capitalist processes that some will win over others and winners will bully, buy-out or conspire with others to maintain and enlarge on their advantages wherever possible, it is the capitalist imperative to maximise profit and minimise actual competition.

Despite what they might say, all capitalists hate competition and will do whatever they can to circumvent it.
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member520746
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#30
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(Original post by Oswy)
The Cheer-leaders for capitalism want us to believe that monopolies (as well as duopolies, cartels, syndicates and the like and of which there are plenty) are an aberration, but they're not. It is an inevitable consequence of capitalist processes that some will win over others and winners will bully, buy-out or conspire with others to maintain and enlarge on their advantages wherever possible, it is the capitalist imperative to maximise profit and minimise actual competition.

Despite what they might say, all capitalists hate competition and will do whatever they can to circumvent it.
I agree, but in terms of the rhetoric of capitalism such as the rhetoric of Aspiringlawstudent, acceptance of monopoly exposes the inherent hypocrisy of capitalism as it stands
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chefdave
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#31
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(Original post by FabiusMaximus)
What really are the differences between our past feudal society, and our current capitalist society?

We still have the nobility, who are now the CEOs of corporations who lobby our politicians to work for them, not the people.

Serfs (the peasants) worked under the rule of the lord. The lord gave them land to work & live on in return for them growing his crops etc. Somebody on minimum wage today works for a corporation, gets paid a small amount in return and is tied to the property they live in. It is not feasible for them to just move away, even with our 21st century 'freedom'

We know that peasants never owned their own property. Do we? No, the vast majority of us must take out mortgages in return for that property. We fail to provide for the bank? We're outta there! Either that, or we rent from a LANDLORD.

The 'free market' isn't new either. In the middle ages, peasants ruled by their lords could own their own market stall, and engage in trading. They could make themselves money, but they were never free.

Same today. Only we're made to believe that we can one day become the billionaire. That's what allows this system to continue.

Great post, I agree entirely.

Capitalism is a great system if you're able to utilise the Old Boys Network or brown-nose your way up the corporate ladder, but for those at the coal face its a relentless regime of pocket money pay packets and -dare I say it- abuse, both financial and spiritual.

Capitalism doesn't do what it claims to and reward effort, it rewards those in privileged positions.

Its definitely in need of reform.
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Nick100
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#32
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#32
Use the quote button so I can tell that you've replied to me.

(Original post by FabiusMaximus)
Not true. Ever heard of the English market town? Peasants owned shops and traded.
And what happened if they accrued wealth? Were they allowed to keep it, or were heavy taxes levied on them?

No, lords could lose their power, if they were excommunicated from the church. That was easy to do if you were wealthy.
They could lose their power if a higher authority took it from them; that has nothing to do with how competent they are. If they hold the favour of their superiors they retain their power if not then they lose it. In a free market system a person's wealth is related entirely to whether or not they can provide a service of value, and even under crony capitalism the government can't usually destroy someone without due process, and its power to prevent failure applies to corporations as a whole rather than specific individuals.

Well, they could acquire surplus wealth, that was what they lived on. And serfs did run away, and if you could live in London for a certain amount of time without being caught then you were deemed a freeman.
Because nowadays if you want to change landlords you flee your home and live in London for a certain period of time? And the "surplus wealth" of the serfs went to their masters; they could not accumulate it for themselves.

Banks can change interests rates, forcing you out of your home. They don't have to play by the rules. Banks get bailed out when they lose. Individuals don't.
It's more complicated than that, and their power to change interest rates is spelled out in the mortgage contract. And the individuals who deposited their money in banks that failed were bailed out with the banks (that was the main argument for the bailout).

We're pretty free market. Take a look around. 'Economic growth' is not the be all and end all, as the USSR showed.
The government controls half of the economy, and strongly regulates the other half. It also likes to manipulate the currency. That isn't exactly free; it's freer than the USSR but it isn't free.

Destroying unions and propaganda is what allows the system to continue
Our press is some of the freest in the world. Do you believe that "right to work" legislation in the US is part of "destroying unions"? And what about public sector unions; are they important to you or do you see how they could corrupt the system?

What alternative do you propose to capitalism?
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Rakas21
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#33
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
This is the very nature of competition. Those that can shall profit, and those that cannot shall fail.

I don't know why you think this is a bad thing.
I think that he was more objecting to a single monopoly business though many would argue that most monopolies come about due to barriers to entry imposed by amongst other things, the state. In markets such as the automobile market so long as we have a competition commission then perfect competition pretty much occurs (consider how cheap a Nissan Micra would be if we abolished taxes on the product which amount to close to 50%).

The general principle of winners and losers is off course the defining aspect of capitalism and long may it continue.

(Original post by FabiusMaximus)
Under feudalism it was considered deplorable to make money through trade. So there's that.

But you aren't "providing for the bank"; you're making a trade. It's a trade which takes a long time but at the end of it the property is yours. I don't understand why people think that they shouldn't have to pay back loans; the bank gave you a substantial sum of money in order to buy the house. And I'm pretty sure usury was frowned upon under feudalism; hence why it was only the Jews who were allowed to actually do it. Also, renting is not like being a serf; you can change landlord.

Banks can change interests rates, forcing you out of your home. They don't have to play by the rules. Banks get bailed out when they lose. Individuals don't.

A free market is not the same as a market. We don't have a free market economy today, but it's a hell of a lot more free than it was under feudalism. Even the USSR had higher levels of economic growth than the feudal Russian Empire.

We're pretty free market. Take a look around. 'Economic growth' is not the be all and end all, as the USSR showed.

You don't need to be a billionaire to improve your standard of living; it's people's ability to improve their standards of living which "allows this system to continue" (whatever that means).

Destroying unions and propaganda is what allows the system to continue
Firstly the simple solution to that is either to save capital and have a home built or bought rather than borrowing. As for the bailouts, they were certainly not the mark of a free market and for anybody who desires a truly free market they were nothing short of an abomination.

The USSR followed a terrible economic model in which millions starved to death.

I have no objections to the existence of a union and if people wish to negotiate collectively then so be it however striking is tantamount to extortion and legal protection for strikers should be removed.
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sevchenko
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#34
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When you factor in Meritocracy, a core element of Capitalism, its not. If you want to be successful in life you will work hard in school to achieve the best grades possible to the get the best job possible to earn the best money. Even Bankers didn't just turn up they had to work through the system.

"A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be" - William Graham Sumner
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Rakas21
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#35
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(Original post by Oswy)
The Cheer-leaders for capitalism want us to believe that monopolies (as well as duopolies, cartels, syndicates and the like and of which there are plenty) are an aberration, but they're not. It is an inevitable consequence of capitalist processes that some will win over others and winners will bully, buy-out or conspire with others to maintain and enlarge on their advantages wherever possible, it is the capitalist imperative to maximise profit and minimise actual competition.

Despite what they might say, all capitalists hate competition and will do whatever they can to circumvent it.
I think that we have to look at the difference between a capitalist in business (the CEO) and an onlooker.

As a CEO your goal is indeed to maximize profit and thus you are correct that the profit motive can lead to a monopolistic market (though in a market with low barriers to entry new competitors will spring up).

As a bystander your comment is monumentally false. I am a capitalist and i love it because the profit motive when combined with competition provides no greater incentive for innovation and we see evidence of this in the technology market where productivity increases 60% year on year and price falls of 10% are observed in the marginal cost of production (albeit as a result of technology replacing labour as the means of production). We now have Google who have released a phone comparable to the Iphone5 for half the price.

All in all i think that capitalism is by far the best system however the caveat is that i do support the existence of a strong competition commission in order to maintain a competitive market.
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419
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#36
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In essence, they are very different. Though, nepotism and such similar behaviour creates a system where only a tiny percentage are the elite (by manipulation of the meritocratic system etc), thus the pessismist in me starts to question if there is much difference.
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Oswy
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#37
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#37
(Original post by Rakas21)
I think that we have to look at the difference between a capitalist in business (the CEO) and an onlooker...
No, we should look at what capitalism is as a system of economic and social exploitation and alienation. Obviously capitalism sustains a class of people who have little better to worry about then where the next 'cool' piece of technology is coming from and how much, or little, it costs to them, but you might as well judge a prison according to how comfortable the guards are (or the children of the guards). Capitalism is the inequitable monopolisation and control of the earth's resources and the productive forces upon which they are dependent. As such, capitalism generates and sustains a coercive society of the few 'haves' and the many 'have nots'. Being narrowly focused on the fact that capitalism drives consumer technology and keeps many middle-class teenagers 'happy' with electronic toys is to miss the argument completely.
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spooky_sam
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#38
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Some people are just born with harder choices in life. The rags to riches fame is further away than ever. Not just that, but with the abuse of corporations on the capitalist system, they don't believe in feudalism. They believe in feudalism. Major chain restaurants, like Mcdonalds, take minimum wage employees and chain them to their desks. Not just that, but high companies, like Supreme, Walmart, etc, they own a MONOPOLY on the global enterprise. So honey, read up before you call them dumb
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