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    (Original post by Oswy)
    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.
    no system sustains things, it's the people who are affected by the system, companies don't want to, because that wouldn't be profitable for them, that's not capitalisms fault, which is my point, it's the companies and consumers fault.

    Socialism would hopefully help this to decrease, but unless it happens who knows. Still the responsibility lies in those who sell and buy things.
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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, 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.
    Exhausting resources for profit is absolutely perfectly rational. It is this potential of profit that whilst leading to the severe degradation of our environment, will continue to sustain capitalism. As resources deplete some will question the capitalist system, sit back and watch the problems unfold. Only with the dynamic efficiency caused by rational profit seeking firms can productivity be raised to assuage these potential resource problems, and this potential for profit is the motivation behind the vast majority of 'green' investment that has the very real potential of providing a feasible and effective cure to the problem. As such, capitalism will be sustained despite aforementioned resource problems.

    Due to the current banking and liquidity crisis, financial capitalism will be sustained by the desire of individuals and government to harness its power to improve the lives of countless, in our country and others. It will be modified, its edges softened and pace relinquished briefly. The hunger for growth and ever-expanding returns will soon increase, with rational profit seeking behaviour to efficient societal outcomes - a far better system than the alternatives of ideological opponents.
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    Exhausting resources for profit is absolutely perfectly rational...
    Hopefully you'll be around to present that idea when there's no rainforests left
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Hopefully you'll be around to present that idea when there's no rainforests left
    I simply cannot understand why you believe their behaviour is irrational - if you would care to expand perhaps there would be more weight to this discussion

    "In the long run, we are all dead" to answer your question
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    the point being just doing it for profitable isn't sustainable and is more likely to lead to the extension of the human species.

    The aim of the companies seems to solely be profit most of the time (the big bad evil companies etc. etc.)

    Thus looking at it from an environmental point of view, it is irrational, especially as all profits are, short term.
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    I simply cannot understand why you believe their behaviour is irrational - if you would care to expand perhaps there would be more weight to this discussion

    "In the long run, we are all dead" to answer your question
    I'm sure you can't understand, if you don't see any problem with the permanent destruction of the environment of all for immediate financial gain of a few. Presumably you're not the least bit bothered about what kind of environmental impoverishment you might be leaving to your own future generations?
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    the point being just doing it for profitable isn't sustainable and is more likely to lead to the extension of the human species.

    The aim of the companies seems to solely be profit most of the time (the big bad evil companies etc. etc.)

    Thus looking at it from an environmental point of view, it is irrational, especially as all profits are, short term.
    From a detatched, uninvolved, long-term ideological viewpoint yes - i concede from there it is somewhat irrational.

    However, from the perspectives of the decision makers, those with real power, the decision is rational and the right one. Elementary statistics and common sense prove the reckless dangers of eccentric extrapolation in time series data - at current rates of consumption, productivity, production, demand et al, current resource supplies will exhaust soonish. Were capitalism not sustained, and some other system implemented, the inefficiencies in change over whilst current consumption trends WOULD continue, resources would decline without the huge benefit of capitalism in its progress towards development of all sorts - in this case, environmental.

    For arguments sake, let's say you are right, and resources are depleted all due to the 'big, bad companies' that symbolise capitalism. As the world will realise resources are dangerously low, necessity will force adaptation: and this is where capitalism is so special. It adapts to any extenuating circumstances with remarkable success, on the whole. It has an inbuilt mechanism, as in nature of the survival of the fittest. The markets cull the weak and caress the strong. Strategies for businesses in this new, theoretical climate that are dominant will win, and the system will evolve and continue.

    If, you say, resources are to become so low, apocalypse now or whatever, that merely increases the incentive to keep faith in capitalism as the progressive system that can alleviate these problems. Lack of faith, trust and confidence in the markets or system is extremely damaging to the system, and irrational if not backed by some rational plan of action.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    I'm sure you can't understand, if you don't see any problem with the permanent destruction of the environment of all for immediate financial gain of a few. Presumably you're not the least bit bothered about what kind of environmental impoverishment you might be leaving to your own future generations?
    Partially see above post.

    I do have the mental capacity to understand your argument, am not callous, and do see an increasingly obvious environmental problem. The immediate financial gain of a few is not the crux of the issue - it is the lack of any superior alternatives (but that itself is not to say capitalism isn't working).

    Being bothered about the world I leave to future generations is something I absolutely am, and I am a firm believer that a generation should try to pass on a world to the next generation that is better than the one they inherited.

    Having made my argument - I am slightly more moderate than I probably explained myself as. Galbraith's book The affluent Society, whilst contrary to many of my views had some I agreed with. The focus on unnecessary production built by advertising was one, and the use of higher sales taxes to inhibit this unnecessary expansion in ludicrous 'wants'. This issue of resources cannot be ignored clearly, nor can it be watched and tut-tutted by opponents to the capitalist system with no feasible improvements. That is what your argument is lacking. A modified capitalism is in the best interests of everyone, even your extreme-long run hypotheticals
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    if there aren't enough resources to sustain people then what people can contribute to capitalism?

    That said socialism can still have these problems, as it can't make other countries socialist. I don't think capitalism is a problem, as I've stated, all I've posted is what I make of posts in this thread (pasted my own).

    "big bad companies etc." was partly sarcastic, although I think most are bad, it's also the consumers who are responsible.

    I think that the top dogs will do more harm than good to the human existence, and that less of us will survive than if we stopped looking at profit and started looking at sustainability.

    capitalism allows us to not be equal based on our pay roll.
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    Looking at sustainability requires a universal conformity to that strategy. Otherwise some smart-alec businessman will undercut prices and take the market. Most of us are so comfortable in our little bell jar's that we can ignore exogenous circumstances - as long as this is the case a sustainable strategy will only work if it is economically rational
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    Boobs!
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    (Original post by Shaun1991)
    Boobs!
    Thank you for your insightful contribution to this debate.

    I can only hope your derogatory comment was directed at the opponents of the motion
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    Partially see above post.

    I do have the mental capacity to understand your argument, am not callous, and do see an increasingly obvious environmental problem. The immediate financial gain of a few is not the crux of the issue - it is the lack of any superior alternatives (but that itself is not to say capitalism isn't working).

    Being bothered about the world I leave to future generations is something I absolutely am, and I am a firm believer that a generation should try to pass on a world to the next generation that is better than the one they inherited.

    Having made my argument - I am slightly more moderate than I probably explained myself as. Galbraith's book The affluent Society, whilst contrary to many of my views had some I agreed with. The focus on unnecessary production built by advertising was one, and the use of higher sales taxes to inhibit this unnecessary expansion in ludicrous 'wants'. This issue of resources cannot be ignored clearly, nor can it be watched and tut-tutted by opponents to the capitalist system with no feasible improvements. That is what your argument is lacking. A modified capitalism is in the best interests of everyone, even your extreme-long run hypotheticals
    I'm not sure what you're arguing now. Earlier you seemed to suggest in fairly plain terms that it is just fine for us to have our environments destroyed by the processes of capitalism because with regard to the capitalists' immediate interests (profit), such activity is entirely rational. In your most recent reply to me you seem to be adjusting your tone, defensively presenting capitalism as legitimate simply because you don't believe there are any viable alternatives. I can appreciate that you might not think there are any alternatives to capitalism, but this doesn't make it so. If you really are bothered about what kind of planet is left to future generations you should consider what industrial capitalism has done, and continues to do, to the planet since its emergence only a few centuries ago. It's all very well suggesting that at some unspecified point in the future capitalism will get all 'ethical' and adjust its operations to protect future generations - but I'd respond by saying that is wishful thinking. Capitalism by its very nature is ammoral, it is driven by profit, not by consideration of what potentially devastating environmental diaster it might generate. When you talk of 'modified' capitalism you're talking about the control of capitalism by state regulation and oversight in the wider interests of society - welcome to the path to socialism!
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    I'm not sure what you're arguing now. Earlier you seemed to suggest in fairly plain terms that it is just fine for us to have our environments destroyed by the processes of capitalism because with regard to the capitalists' immediate interests (profit), such activity is entirely rational. In your most recent reply to me you seem to be adjusting your tone, defensively presenting capitalism as legitimate simply because you don't believe there are any viable alternatives. I can appreciate that you might not think there are any alternatives to capitalism, but this doesn't make it so. If you really are bothered about what kind of planet is left to future generations you should consider what industrial capitalism has done, and continues to do, to the planet since its emergence only a few centuries ago. It's all very well suggesting that at some unspecified point in the future capitalism will get all 'ethical' and adjust its operations to protect future generations - but I'd respond by saying that is wishful thinking. Capitalism by its very nature is ammoral, it is driven by profit, not by consideration of what potentially devastating environmental diaster it might generate. When you talk of 'modified' capitalism you're talking about the control of capitalism by state regulation and oversight in the wider interests of society - welcome to the path to socialism!
    Interesting. Perhaps I should be clearer in future. I apologise for said inconsistencies.

    I never said the environment is unimportant, merely its destruction was rational from the businessman's perspective. It is a problem, and I believe I have been clear (but clearly unconvincing) in arguing it.

    Industrial capitalism, in its short life span has lifted our world out of all pervasive, mass poverty, through a painful transition (still occurring in places today) to a society where more needs are met than ever before, on a wider global scale. These gains will not be relented easily.

    I do not believe I inferred capitalism will become ethical. It will not. Eventually, at the 'wishful thinking turning point' you observed, the rational economic decision making would align with the perceived ethical strategy.

    When I talk of modified capitalism, I mean as I said earlier temporarily enhanced softned edges to appease the opponents, then a state of market driven development to a newer, more appropriate form. Government 'socialist' regulation would simply not succeed in solving the problem, oversight in the wider interests of society could not expand to noticeable levels. It is in the interests of society that the markets are left to behave rationally, which may involve environmental focus, but does not involve high governmental fiddling.

    Welcome back to the well trodden path of capitalism!
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    (Original post by Lampshade)
    Are you suggesting a Mao/Stalin-esque cull?
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    Looking at sustainability requires a universal conformity to that strategy. Otherwise some smart-alec businessman will undercut prices and take the market. Most of us are so comfortable in our little bell jar's that we can ignore exogenous circumstances - as long as this is the case a sustainable strategy will only work if it is economically rational
    Which is what capitalism allows for, and hopefully, with some safe guards, would be completely stopped in socialism, however, that would require of course every country being socialist.

    It's either one or the other about this point. Not both. I'm quoting you because I agree with you, but put a different spin on it.
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    Agreed. Though capitalism may take time to adapt, it does not require a worldwide revolution to become effective.
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    Thank you for your insightful contribution to this debate.

    I can only hope your derogatory comment was directed at the opponents of the motion
    nahh, i just thought i'd lighten the debate up a bit
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    (Original post by Shaun1991)
    nahh, i just thought i'd lighten the debate up a bit
    Appreciated :borat:
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    (Original post by I_Am_Abbas)
    Interesting. Perhaps I should be clearer in future. I apologise for said inconsistencies.

    I never said the environment is unimportant, merely its destruction was rational from the businessman's perspective. It is a problem, and I believe I have been clear (but clearly unconvincing) in arguing it.

    Industrial capitalism, in its short life span has lifted our world out of all pervasive, mass poverty, through a painful transition (still occurring in places today) to a society where more needs are met than ever before, on a wider global scale. These gains will not be relented easily.

    I do not believe I inferred capitalism will become ethical. It will not. Eventually, at the 'wishful thinking turning point' you observed, the rational economic decision making would align with the perceived ethical strategy.

    When I talk of modified capitalism, I mean as I said earlier temporarily enhanced softned edges to appease the opponents, then a state of market driven development to a newer, more appropriate form. Government 'socialist' regulation would simply not succeed in solving the problem, oversight in the wider interests of society could not expand to noticeable levels. It is in the interests of society that the markets are left to behave rationally, which may involve environmental focus, but does not involve high governmental fiddling.

    Welcome back to the well trodden path of capitalism!
    The fact that the destruction of the environment, if profitable, is rational from a capitalist's perspective is a sobering point and one to bear in mind when evangelical capitalists are telling us how lovely everything is in the hands of the businessmen! Capitalism has generated huge wealth, stimulated useful technologies and played a part in the advancement of medicine, sure, it's also unleashed a huge population explosion, seen some of the most devastating of wars and been responsible for the the highly asymetrical distribution of economic power across the globe. It's wishful thinking to suggest that capitalism is on its way to making everyone's life comfortable, if anything it's easy to argue that given the huge increase in human population it has stimulated there is more experienced misery than ever before, if we're talking about sheer numbers. Again, your suggestion that the internal rationality of capitalism will at some point 'align with the perceived ethical strategy' is wishful thinking on your part - it hasn't happened yet; the rainforests are still being cut down, the seas polluted with oil, the air filled with green-house gasses. I find your last paragraph a little vague. You seem to have agreed with me that capitalism has no morals, and that it cannot itself do anything other than pursue the maximisation of profit. How can capitalism thus have its 'edges softened' if this is in conflict with its central aims? All you've got to implementing such 'softening' is government - and government regulation and supervision of markets in the wider interests of society (to protect them from the destructive potential of capitalism) is easily a step in the direction of socialism.
 
 
 
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