By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close
sc94597 said:
vivster said:

I know that capitalism is not about competition. Pure capitalism seeks to dominate everything. The competition and stability is made by the regulation of the state.

My employer does make a profit from me. For that I do get compensated in a fair enough way. You say it yourself, exploitation doesn't have to be evil and is done by good people, sometimes with the best intentions. So why are you talking about it as if it was evil? Maybe it's a necessary evil to keep things going?

I had a very similar discussion with a hardcore neoliberal who would love nothing more than pure capitalism in all sectors. The truth is, you cannot slap a perfect system onto inherently flawed individuals. It doesn't work and will become unstable very quickly. You will have to have compromises to appease the most amount of people in the most moderate way. I think Germany found a very stable compromise. A compromise not everyone will agree with, but a compromise that will keep things running with a maximum amount of stability.

Changing sociopolitical conditions are not an argument for anything. Every single social and economic system is vulnerable to changing situations. It's about to be as robust as possible. And neither full capitalism nor full socialism are as robust as the compromise we have here.

I don't talk about exploitation "as if it is evil", in fact I am a moral skeptic and don't necessarily believe in a universal "good" and "evil." Something doesn't have to be evil for it to not be in your interests to accept though. It's in my interests to have full autonomy over my work-life and to reap as much of my labor-product as possible. That the employer is making profits off of my  labor and not merely his/hers implies that they have disproportionate bargaining power, that they can take what would typically be mine because they were given more economic privilege than me by the state. Why do they have that disproportionate bargaining power? Because the state protects and subsidizes them. Sure the state might also give me welfare, but is that welfare sufficient to cover my loss labor-product? Furthermore, employment agreements reduce my autonomy in how I work, how much I work, and under which conditions I work in a way without me directly being party to the deliberations. That the state might bargain for what it thinks are my interests is not the same thing as me bargaining for my interests. Additionally, many people exploit others not because they wish to, but because that is what pays in a capitalist society. In an alternative society exploitation wouldn't pay though, and people would live at their own costs. 

Something doesn't have to be evil for me to oppose it. 

Socialism isn't a perfect system. There is no such thing. But it is sure better than capitalism, in the same way capitalism was better than feudalism. Certainly you wouldn't argue in the 17th century that we need a mix of capitalism and feudalism. To say that one should compromise between socialism and capitalism is just as absurd as saying one should've compromised between capitalism and feudalism. Why not systematically eliminate the privilege and inequality? Why stop half way? 

"And neither full capitalism nor full socialism are as robust as the compromise we have here." 

1. There is no such thing as "full capitalism" and "full socialism." There is merely capitalism (which takes different characteristics) and socialism. What you are holding sacred is a variety of capitalism. It's not a "mix of capitalism and socialism." 

2. How do you know its the most robust? It has not yet been tested. Social democracy is a pretty new thing, and Europe has only been at peace for a little more than half a century. That is a very small blimp in a history of turbulence. Now I am not saying that one need empirical evidence to argue the case that their sacred system is stable, but I am suggesting that social democracy is more rigid and hierarchical than actual socialism would be, and consequently under conditions of crisis those at the bottom of the hierarchy would be the most harmed. 

Millions of immigrants over decades, safe pensions and ever increasing economic power is not being tested? We haven't had any civil wars or are even close to it. I think that nothing has happened to truly test it is actually the result of the test.

But of course we don't know what the future holds. No system is completely safe, but I feel that we have put so many safeguards against collapse into place that I can sleep well at night and that's the most important thing.

Completely eliminating privilege is bound to spark bad things. Yes, it would be awesome if everyone had the same stuff but that is not how human brains work. You cannot go completely against human nature because human nature will rebel and bring everything down with it. To be stable does not mean to give everyone the same privilege. Because people don't operate that way. Some people will always feel more privileged. So a robust system would take measures to appease both sides so they will not rebel. It's not perfect at all because both sides will be disadvantaged at some point but that is needed to go on with society.

If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.