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    Capitalism is based on consumption of finite resources. As those resources begin to run out how does capitalism survive?

    Discuss.
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    People will start selling necessities like water, in all likelyhood.
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    Oh, ok, I see - So Socialism magically creates more resources out of thin air and spreads them equally...

    The free market is always growing in productivity. The more productive any factor of production becomes the better because we can use less resources to make more, but something can never be created out of nothing and it's dangerous to suggest so.
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    As time and technology change so do the resources needed. In the 19th Century, Coal held the position occupied by oil now.
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    (Original post by pretz)
    Capitalism is based on consumption of finite resources. As those resources begin to run out how does capitalism survive?

    Discuss.
    Capitalism doesn't have a morality, it uses up resources for profit until or unless exhausted, there is some other obstacle or it otherwise becomes unprofitable to continue using it up. Traditionally resources are used until exhaustion and then an alternative is sought. Yes, this process can end only one way, and it isn't going to be pretty. I've always thought that greens should be socialists and socialists greens.
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    (Original post by pretz)
    Capitalism is based on consumption of finite resources. As those resources begin to run out how does capitalism survive?

    Discuss.
    Wont people just recycle more as resources deplete?
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    Socialism changes nothing. The need for finite resources wouldn't change.

    The only thing that is going to change the current face of capitalism is the current financial crisis. It will just become a little more regulated and become "lifejacket capitalism".
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    (Original post by Lampshade)
    Socialism changes nothing. The need for finite resources wouldn't change.
    Well, even at the abstract level socialism seeks to provide for each according to their needs, not according to their potentially destructive wants. I suspect that from a green perspective, providing for needs rather than wants is the more rational orientation.

    Capitalism has no rationality where the use of resources are concerned, beyond the profit potential; there are plenty of examples of market forces exhausting resources for profit whereupon the capitalists simply move on to the next resource for the same purpose.
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    (Original post by pretz)
    Capitalism is based on consumption of finite resources. As those resources begin to run out how does capitalism survive?

    Discuss.
    I don't think this is even true - capitalism creates new resources on quite a regular basis. For instance, before the invention of the engine (and plastics etc), oil was something beyond useless - it lowered the price of land which contained it. Now it's one of the most valuable resources around.
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    With appropriate Pigovian taxation on externalities, capitalism can continue with gay abandon. Just restricted, gay abandon.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Capitalism has no rationality where the use of resources are concerned, beyond the profit potential; there are plenty of examples of market forces exhausting resources for profit whereupon the capitalists simply move on to the next resource for the same purpose.
    You're doing what you usually do, and comparing capitalism as it actually exists, warts and all, with some imaginary alternative. In real life, not socialist fantasy land, there are reasons why private property is more environmentally friendly than communal property. Look up the tragedy of the commons.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Well, even at the abstract level socialism seeks to provide for each according to their needs, not according to their potentially destructive wants. I suspect that from a green perspective, proving for needs rather than wants is the more rational orientation.
    And there's a lot more people in the world who don't have what they need rather than having too much.
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    (Original post by Lampshade)
    And there's a lot more people in the world who don't have what they need rather than having too much.
    Very true, and this is testament to the inherent asymetries of capitalist economic and social organisation. It's worth mentioning in passing, too, that it is the era of globalising industrial capitalism which has seen the human population rise so spectacularly and which in time will impact on resources no matter how efficiently they are organised.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Very true, and this is testament to the inherent asymetries of capitalist economic and social organisation. It's worth mentioning in passing, too, that it is the era of globalising industrial capitalism which has seen the human population rise so spectacularly and which in time will impact on resources no matter how efficiently they are organised.
    Are you suggesting a Mao/Stalin-esque cull?
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    (Original post by Lampshade)
    Are you suggesting a Mao/Stalin-esque cull?
    I think his point is more like Pol Pots - there are too many people alive today, particularly in the cities. So let's relocate them to the countryside (and in the process kill 1 person in every 8).
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    Let's hope so - what are we going to do if it isn't?
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    (Original post by Lampshade)
    Are you suggesting a Mao/Stalin-esque cull?
    Absolutely not, I'm simply making the observation that the emergence of industrial capitalism as the dominant mode of production is very much associated with the accelerating growth of the human population to the extent that we can reasonably suggest that the efficiencies unleashed, and their organisation, is the cause of that accelerating growth. Obviously at some point the human population will end up levelling out as, even factoring increasing efficiencies in the production or organisation of food and other essential resources, such resources are ultimately finite. The point at which the human population does level out, however, given the skill with which we are able to exhaust what is available and our willingness to do it within the capitalist paradigm, might not be a very attractive situation. Neither of us is likely to find ourselves having to live in a world where there are no rain-forests, or polar-bears, or where many species of plant and animal have been rendered extinct because they lose out in the battle for resources with humans, but our grandchildren, and their grandchildren might well be facing that situation. In this regard capitalism isn't going to help us, it is the antithesis of restraint for future 'ethical' reasons, it is instead a way of organising life for the benefit of immediate (or near-immediate) profit.
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    capitalism isn't a problem. but it does allow for problems.

    The problem of sustainability has nothing to do with capitalism though.

    We need to do what we talk of doing:
    renewable sustainable energy, like the sun.
    sustainable living, like veganism.
    less consumption of things like oil, metals.
    more recycling.

    Basically changing our life styles, on mass.
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    capitalism isn't a problem. but it does allow for problems.

    The problem of sustainability has nothing to do with capitalism though.

    We need to do what we talk of doing:
    renewable sustainable energy, like the sun.
    sustainable living, like veganism.
    less consumption of things like oil, metals.
    more recycling.

    Basically changing our life styles, on mass.
    Except that historically capitalism runs into trouble where it does not sustain 'growth', i.e. continually increase the amount of stuff we make and buy.
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    Lampshade i wouldnt bother debating Oswy he will just make everyone look stupid - the socialist counter argument beats anything
 
 
 
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