Re: Capitalism bashing
From: Gorwydd (
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 12:41:23 -0500
on 97-09-06 10:57:11 EDT, Robert Schrader responds to Scott Crowley with: 

>"Principles of waste and exploitation"?  Sorry, Scott, but you really ought
>to check a dictionary.  Capitalism has, by definition, one principle, that
>is: private ownership of capital.
>Capitalism has no interest in war.  War is bad for markets.  It destroys
>property.  A true capitalist is opposed to war except in self defense.
>Most of the wars that are blamed on capitalism are actually the actions of
>socialistic regimes ( Socialism: _government_ ownership of property ).  Only
>when the government has an interest in aquisition of others' property does
>it take an interest in wars of conquest.

You've obviously never read Goethe's "Fauste"

You have a dangerously oversimplified "definition" of Capitalism. Whatever
the Dictionary may or may not say it ought to be, this does not remove the
realities of how such a system may act in the real world. What we have today
in our so-called global economy is a Consumer Capitalism which operates by
creating markets for the consumption of products for profit... even the Earth
itself (via real estate) has become commodified, divided up by imaginary
lines, bought and sold... assigned an imposed Value. To maintain the value of
any product, one must have a maintained target group of consumers to keep
your profits coming in... so the market, through various mediums, enforces
stereotypes. Your credit card purchases are used to determine what kinds of
junk mail you will receive, and the images in those catalogs are specifically
aimed at "types".

It's much more complex than this of couse, but it most certainly does come
down to a form of exploitation... exploitation of people (work forces... via
South American sweat shops, via selling guilt to the overweight of the
less-than-supermodel in us all), exploitation of the land (the cutting down
of rain forests by third-world nations to support their ailing economies, the
illegal dumping of waste in "poorer" regions because the "wealthier" ones had
more clout to refuse), exploitation of power ("Desert  Storm" being America's
involvement in the dispute between other nations when the oil market became
threatened... a dispute that lead to senseless killing). All wars are fought
over possession of one thing or another, even if just pride.

Profit becomes the goal reguardless of the cost to everyone outside of
yourself, and people will go to any length to acquire capital because it has
become synonymous with personal success. It HAS started wars. Look at the
booming lawsuite industry.... divorce wars where money matters over love,  or
the division of estates after a death when families are torn up by disputes
over who gets what... those ARE wars and they have become so familiar to us
that we cannot see their origins in our attitude of "needing" capital more
than happiness.

And finally, as far as wars being non profittable, you are dead wrong. Many
wars started during periods of economic turmoil, as a way of jump-starting
some changes. In times of high unemployment, violence rises and so does the
attraction of hard-core beleif systems. Just look at the rise of Nazi Germany
in the world wars. Look at it's resurgence today in similair times of
economic crisis.  Look at how our economy boomed after many wars... yet
veterans were cast aside as no longer of any use... and tell me that
capitalism makes any sense.

Don't go crying "Comminist." Read Carl Marx with an aware mind for what he
was calling for as opposed to what actually came about. Socialism was not
intended as government ownership of property, that's only the result of
Socialism being improperly carried out... as in the case of Soviet Russia and
China, which hid their Capitalistic natures under the guise of social
revolution and reform.

I suggest you also try out "All That is Solid Melts into Air" by Marshall
Berman to understand what Capitalism and "Modernity" are really all about.
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