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How is the Church going to cope with the transition to a post-capitalist society?

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Peace
On 3/12/2017 at 10:55 AM, Era Might said:

Capitalist systems have not even solved poverty within themselves, let alone in the world. Part of the fear is that advanced capitalist-industrial societies will be too smart for their own good, and capitalism will simply shift its base of operations to regions where capitalism still has a lower class to exploit. The success of Andrew Carnegie simply demonstrates that a person can amass massive capital, not that capitalism is a viable, moral system. Slavery brought lots of people out of poverty, just not the slaves.

Maybe. No system is perfect, but heavily socialistic systems have had demonstrably inferior results.

And I would say that the problem of poverty is solved within the US. We have a massive amount of wealth here, that even that most people who fall below the defined poverty line are doing  quite well in absolute terms. Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago.

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Era Might
19 hours ago, Peace said:

Maybe. No system is perfect, but heavily socialistic systems have had demonstrably inferior results.

And I would say that the problem of poverty is solved within the US. We have a massive amount of wealth here, that even that most people who fall below the defined poverty line are doing  quite well in absolute terms. Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago.

I'd make two points about Socialist systems vs. Capitalist systems as historical (as opposed to theoretical) systems. First, the Bolshevik revolution was such a shock because orthodox Marxists, social democrats, etc. believed that a capitalist phase was necessary first. The Communist systems of the 20th century were a different strain of thought, basically they just imposed an eschatological worldview. Even Christianity didn't try to do that, and when it did (e.g., Savonarola in Florence), it ended in disaster. Even Communist systems ceased to believe in an eschatological goal. The Soviet Union folded, while China kept the political but not the economic system.

Second, I'd note that Socialism In One Country was a consequence of the Bolshevik revolution. But originally, most Russian revolutionaries believed a worldwide revolution was necessary, you couldn't succeed on nationalist lines. Capitalism, on the other hand, pioneered nationalism, because capitalism is built on competition. America's industrial golden age only have way to social safety nets, as you call them, because workers, socialists, anarchists fought, bled, and died for unions, regulation, etc. America was built on slave labor, worker exploitation, and only later did big business interests realize they're better off pacifying the masses rather than using them along strict capitalist lines as pieces of the machinery to be maintained only enough to run and be made obsolete.

The society of America's founding, rich, white landowners, was already obsolete by the civil war, and certainly ceased to be obsolete in the modern industrial era, when the People became a force in their own right, largely thanks to Marx and other socialist directions of thought. Of course, nothing is perfect, and socialism' s direction in the totalitarian 20th century hardy tells it's story.

Maybe @Hasan has something to add.

Edited by Era Might

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4588686
On 3/15/2017 at 5:59 PM, Peace said:

Maybe. No system is perfect, but heavily socialistic systems have had demonstrably inferior results.

And I would say that the problem of poverty is solved within the US. We have a massive amount of wealth here, that even that most people who fall below the defined poverty line are doing  quite well in absolute terms. Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago.

yeah I remember when I talked to this family in an unsound house with all five member huddled around a personal electric heater in the middle of their room trying to keep warm and then I said "Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago."

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Peace
3 hours ago, Hasan said:

yeah I remember when I talked to this family in an unsound house with all five member huddled around a personal electric heater in the middle of their room trying to keep warm and then I said "Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago."

Please.

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Nihil Obstat

The modern west seems to have come as close as any society yet in terms of eliminating material poverty, but I would probably argue that the human facets of economic questions means that it's inherently possible to totally eradicate poverty in all forms. At the very least, people do not always act in their own best interest, so there would always be at least a small subset of people who essentially refuse not to be poor.

In general it does seem to me that there is enough wealth in the west that it would be logically possible in potentia for everyone to live at least above poverty levels, but I do not think the nature of the system allows for that to be realized. It could also be argued that a utopian system set up to guarantee a zero percent poverty level would quickly destroy the wealth that could actually accomplish that. That is more a question of fact than of theory.

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Era Might

I think it's a wrong premise to say capitalism alleviates poverty and creates wealth, because the premise takes economics as an abstraction, a technique for profit, for production, etc. But people and societies aren't abstractions. Another way of saying capitalism has raised people out of poverty is saying it has integrated them into a system of production. That is, it has abstracted their real lives and given them roles like consumer, debtor, etc. When we talk about poverty as a moral problem, we aren't talking at all about abstract inequalities that can be fixed with a little math. We're talking about people who haven't been integrated into the social system. Capitalism, with its mathematical abstractions, has the dubious distinction of making everyone an alien in the System. That's the ideogical glory of America, that anyone can make it here, because there is no "here." Capitalism is like a god, it is no respecter of persons. The prospect of machines making us obsolete is just a more concrete realization of capitalism, which is pure technique. American identity is mostly defined by our commercial relations: we recognize the same advertising, have the same shopping habits, etc. American capitalism is a manufactured identity. It has conquered poverty in the sense that it has solved the problem of alienation (the poor are alienated) by making alienation the founding principle. Christianity does the same thing, but in reverse. Christianity abolished the self, the I, until there is only one man: Christ. Capitalism, too, levels all distinctions, but the one man left is the man who can best compete and destroy (aka innovate). Rene Girard saw in Christ the sacrifice of competition; Jesus refuses to compete, to play the game of who can best control the power scarcity. As an ideological worldview, Socialism has more in common with Christianity. I think Socialism and Communism were something closer to religions than science; that was both its strength and it's weakness. Capitalism isn't a religion, because it can never bend it's knee to serve anyone or anything; it's only drive is reproduction, to ensure its own survival. So, yes, it's probably an inherently more successful system because, like Satan, it recognizes only I, can never accept that there is anything outside itself. Trump, the ArchCapitalist, is making this explicit with his Wall and his ban. 

Edited by Era Might

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Era Might
9 hours ago, Anomaly said:

Is that excerpts from pages 3 and 12 of Ted Kacinsky's Manifesto? 

Nah, lifted from George Carlin's 1978 comedy special "Drones, Obedient Workers, and Cheeseburgers."

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polskieserce
On 3/15/2017 at 5:59 PM, Peace said:

Maybe. No system is perfect, but heavily socialistic systems have had demonstrably inferior results.

And I would say that the problem of poverty is solved within the US. We have a massive amount of wealth here, that even that most people who fall below the defined poverty line are doing  quite well in absolute terms. Our system has produced excess wealth, which has enabled the creation of the various safety nets that allows our poor to have things that only the rich could have afforded a century ago.

I couldn't possibly disagree more with this post.  First, just because the US has massive amounts of wealth doesn't mean that the poor are doing ok.  A lot of the wealth is controlled by the richest citizens in this country.  I remember hearing that the richest 400 or so Americans control roughly as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the US population.

Second, the US never truly eliminated slavery.  It merely exported slavery to 3rd world countries which are intertwined with out economy.  You can put cow poop in a plastic bag, seal it and label it as something else.  But at the end of the day, it's still cow poop.

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Peace
25 minutes ago, polskieserce said:

I couldn't possibly disagree more with this post.

Sure you could. I don't think you are trying hard enough.

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SaintOfVirtue
On Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 9:17 AM, polskieserce said:

And that's going to be your response for every shred of evidence there is to support coming mass unemployment.

Maybe my response would be different if your evidence (and I use the term lightly) was not misrepresenting Milton Friedman.  Don't be a Koolaid drinker. 

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polskieserce
On 3/25/2017 at 2:26 PM, SaintOfVirtue said:

Maybe my response would be different if your evidence (and I use the term lightly) was not misrepresenting Milton Friedman.  Don't be a Koolaid drinker. 

You completely missed the whole point of that video.  The point Reich was making is that technology will result in increased productivity along with decreased manpower.   You are very insistent that new jobs will be created in other sectors to replace the jobs already lost.  Where are all of these new jobs going to come from?  Nobody has given me concrete information about where all of these replacement jobs are going to come from.  And don't bother using the skilled trades as an excuse.  There simply isn't enough demand in those to absorb all of the workers who will get kicked out of the economy.

If you really want to read an academic paper on this issue, the 2nd link below is a good example.  But even if you read 10 articles like that, it won't do anything if you are in hardcore denial.

Actually, Steve Mnuchin, Robots Have Already Affected the U.S. Labor Market

Cached Article Used in the Link Above

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Era Might

A good article on how neoliberal economics since Reagan has coopted religion to destroy the public sphere and atomize the individual, not as laborers who belong to a social system with rights and obligations of its own, but as autonomous market agents who have no obligation except voluntary good will (which is based on whims like who is deserving of help, rather than objective state obligations like civil rights). The article looks at Walmart, which used religion in the South to reinforce religious submissiveness and fit workers into neoliberal roles that were outside the traditional worker's role as industrial stakeholder.

http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/james-chappel-servant-heart-religion-neoliberalism

Edited by Era Might

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