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Is the US a capitalist system?

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by bgrass, May 18, 2010.

  1. Rathryn

    RathrynExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 21, 2009
     
    I quite frankly figured the other posts were pretty clear on that.
    Anyway, I can't speak for the US, but in Holland the land is usually owned by the state, but the property ON the ground is owned privately. The price of land is insanely high and most people seem to want to rent a plot of land, rather than buy it (or use a mortgage, which means it won't technically be yours, until you finish paying off your debt).
    Therefore the only thing that is owned by the state is the land, effectively. But seeing as to how most people can't usually move the buildings and other property that's ON the ground, the state basically confiscates that as well and then usually decides to rent out the property or demolish it.
    Should you wish to BUY a plot of land from the government here the prices are outrageous in most towns and cities and if it IS affordable, it's basically useless.
    Also the state decides what the land is destined to be used for.
    Hope that makes the distinction clear as far as I know of it.
    As for the people, they are not OWNED by the government, so much as continuously checked and re-checked, then filed, the checked for right filing, with more checking, etc, neverending circle there. Though the people aren't owned, they're basically wage slaves for their bosses if they want to survive (what with taxes, healthcare and all), even if you produce something here and you wish to trade it there's a tax for that, even labour is taxed (except for volunteering, but ANYTHING can be seen as a payment, even a meal).
     
  2. bgrass

    bgrassExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 11, 2010
     
    If I have to ask permission to due business from a third party, it is the third party that owns me, the one I wish to do business with or both. If an action is forced, the one forcing the action is the owner. If a peaceful action is restricted, the one doing the restriction is the owner. If a person can be thrown in a cage when no aggression has taken place, the one that throws the peaceful person in the cage owns the person. If I have to ask permission to build on a piece of land, it is the one I have to ask permission of that owns the land. If property can be taken at will, the one that can take at will owns the property. If I have to ask permission to use an item or even have an item, that item is owned by the one I had to ask permission from.

    In all the above scenarios, it is the state that is the owner. If the state controls all property, all persons and all land, how can there be free enterprise? and since the one that controls is the one that owns, how can there be capitalism? How can there be any self ownership, any freedom or any liberty, when all is owned effectively by the state through its use of aggressive violence?
     
  3. rude-boy

    rude-boyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Mar 12, 2010
     
    hmm your getting really general about everything. it would help your argument if you had examples of what your ta;king about..



    this how i see it. you are in a contry. that contry owns the land. so it that part it is theirs. you then have to pay those people to claim ownership to the land. it ussuly cost alot of money. in most areas there are kind of zoning laws. which is like. this is a commercial area. there for in that area there are commercial building like stores,supermarkets and banks and what not. then there are industrial areas for warehouses anbd factorys. then there are residential areas/ for homes and apartments and what not. its not that they own you because. its a law thing. if you going to say laws make people owned by the goverment then every one is owned. i thought this was about capitaism in america not a police state argument

    the property cant just be taken at will just because the person wants it. if you dont pay your bills you forit the land with out reembursment of what you pay. you have to agree to those terms when signing a lease or land ownership papers. its the same as buying a car or anything you dont pay for up front. if you go and buy the land 100% upfront i am pretty sure they cant just take it from you for no reson thats retarted. its the same other way ariound if you own an apartment building. with 6 apartments. its yours but as long as the people pay then you cant just be like leave now for no reson. thats what contracts are for. to try and protect the owner and others from double crossing.

    the state as far as i know cannot tell you what to be. they cant say no we dont want a bike repair shop. you are going to open a coffe shop. they can not do that. there are aspects of that in comunism i think? if there are to many welders and not ebough bred makers the state tells your to become a bread maker. you have to(correct?)

    like i said tis kind hard to reply because what you said was cvaige and general...
     
  4. Shuei

    ShueiExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 19, 2010
     
    Truth is, the whole neo-liberalistic system protects those who owns the most, and those who owns the most protects the state.
    Who say the state own shit? The companies own the state, and their politics protects their property.

    It is a capitalistic system - the state is nothing but a sub-company created to keep the people at bay. Like private guards.
     
  5. bgrass

    bgrassExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 11, 2010
     

    You kinda made my point for me. The state owns the land, and no, not just anyone can come and kick you off the land your occupying, but the state can. As far as what you do, no the state doesn't determine that for you (for the most part), but you do have to ask permission to run any business, create products and provide services to others, so the state does own you.

    As far as your comment on laws goes, yes laws to establish ownership. If the law is an act of aggression, it is an assumption of ownership by the state.
     
  6. bgrass

    bgrassExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 11, 2010
     
    Do I have to ask Pepsi permission to make a soft drink and sell it, or do I have to apply for permission from a government agency? Do I have to ask GM permission to build and sell a car, or do I have to pay off state bureaucrats to get their permission? Do I have to ask some drug company for permission to to get the medicine I want, or do I have to get permission from the proper government licensed doctor? Hell, did the drug company, Pepsi and GM just get to make an sell the products they do, or did they also have to beg permission from the state to do what they do? Damn, corporations are a legal entity created by the state to begin with to protect business owners from liability. It is true that those with influence use the state to their benefit, as politics is always rewarding your self and your friends while punishing your enemies, but it is the state that controls, it is the state that owns and it is the state that will throw in a cage if you disobey and kill you if you resist, not some business.
     
  7. Shuei

    ShueiExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 19, 2010
     
    Bgrass:
    You have to ask the state - but the reason you have to ask the state is to protect the companies market, not your health.

    The state wasn't started as a product of the corporations, but ask yourself - who are they really helping these days?

    Last year, the state spend 67 billion danish kroner (roughly 11,2 billion dollars) on helping banks - trying to help a collapsed economical system. Even with promised of paying back (which we know will never happen, they haven't even payed for last time), it's still many money.
    In comparison, it would require 6 billion to get our public schools up to the required level (the schools are bad, many of us reads books about the cold war from before the cold war ended and such), it would take roughly 4-5 billion to get the public transportation running cheaply (right now, you have to play almost 4 dollars for each ride, which then doubles after a few kilometers) and free dental care would be roughly 7-8 billion.

    Don't tell me the states are here in the interest of the people. They do this, because they protect the companies.

    And yes, the state throws you in jail - but you get 2-3 years for rape, 5-6 for murder (sometimes more, but often not), if you kill someone when driving really drunk, you get 1,5 years. 10-12 for tax fraud, even in small scales. Copyright violations and unfair market strategies can earn you 7 years of jail.
    It's all for the money.
     
  8. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    bgrass.

    You appear to be blaming the political expression of Capitalist economics, the State, rather than the economic imperatives that have created it. Following Marx, the State is Superstructural insofar as economic systems dictate the type of political system needed to maintain it, and the interests of those who most benefit from such an economic system (ie in the US, the bourgeoisie- Corporate Execs, Bankers, etc). Whilst I don't agree totally with Marx's Historical Materialism , there is no doubt tihs is the central function of the State.

    sauce: http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionB2#secb21

    Moreover, you appear to be following an Anarcho-Capitalist line of argument. This is one which I do not find Anarchist in perspective in the slightest. Such references to 'free enterprise' in a manner that infers it has anything to do with liberty, rather than the ironic use of such an oxymoronic phrase, ignores completely the central role of 'surplus value' (worker exploitation) in the maintenance of Capitalist economics.
     
  9. bgrass

    bgrassExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Apr 11, 2010
     
    I'm no way am I defending a business that would use state violence to get what they want, its just as wrong as any other person using government violence to take and control. I'm also not trying to argue for any economic system. I don't care really, I believe each community should work out how they want to trade and interact with each other however they want, as long as its voluntary. My point is to show that there is no individual ownership of anything in the US, so there is effectively no real capitalism. Just like there was no real communism in the USSR or in China or in Cuba, but again just state run economies, and the US is not a real example of capitalism, but again just a centrally controlled state run economy. The common evil is people using the aggressive violence of the state to get what the want. Which is my real issue in the end and that is what needs to be always exposed. Not that X evil bank got so many billions in government money, but that the government used violence to extract that money and manipulate the money supply in the first place. Not that some corporation poisoned the water table, but that the state protects the owners of that business from liability through the state crated corporate protection system. Not that Y drug company charges outrageous amounts for medicine people need, but the state violence keeps other from making that same medicine, keeps only the state selected from being able to provide you with that medicine and only the state selected get to give you permission to get the medicine, all done at the point of gun. So when it shown how the state uses violence to benefit these at the expense of others, they might look at their votes and what they want the state to do and see the violence they are advocating and hopefully stop. So they can see the illegitimacy from the immoral actions done by the state and decide to stop obeying, stop paying and stop supporting.

    I just feel demonizing capitalism distracts from the real problem, legitimized aggressive violence. Just like the right misses the point in demonizing socialism or communism and misses the real problem, legitimized aggressive violence.
     
  10. kazmacılar

    kazmacılarMember Forum Member


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    May 7, 2011
     
    what? US is not capitalism? United States fucking my country every fucking second. We are drinking,eating and wearing American goods. %75 of our country is American property. How can we say it's "not" a capitalist system?
     
  11. Bentheanarchist

    BentheanarchistExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Dec 10, 2010
     
    No, the US is not capitalist. It is far above capitalism, it is a corporatist society built on consumerism, and company control.
     
  12. Selph

    SelphMember New Member


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    May 15, 2011
     
    I don't think Capitalism is a useful word anymore. For Marx Capitalism meant a legislative-economic system which placed emphasis on generating physical Capital. This was necessary phase of history simply because Capital was necessary. Eventually, large amounts of Capital will no longer be necessary and the old laws will be out of touch with the new economic needs. Hence, Communism, the system which focuses on the generation, maintenance and health of community.

    It's pretty obvious that the American system isn't legitimate. It isn't focused on generating anything of social value, it's just focused on immense profit for a select few. I think it's best to describe the American system as Oligarchy with Capitalist aesthetics. Similar to how the USSR was an Oligarchy with Communist aesthetics. To find a Capitalist country, you'd have to find a country whose primary need was Capital, which is actually pretty rare.
     
  13. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    o_O o_O o_O o_O o_O o_O o_O o_O o_O
     
  14. Selph

    SelphMember New Member


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    May 15, 2011
     
  15. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    seriously, what are you talking about?
     
  16. Selph

    SelphMember New Member


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    May 15, 2011
     
    For Marx, the point of Capitalism is to generate and put to work physical Capital. So, in laymen, to build machines and factories which make labor more efficient and then to organize the labor force in a way that they can use said machines and factories in a way that makes the work easier. The goal of Capitalism is to pull a region out of Feudalism and set up its production so that life is less grueling. The problem with Capitalism is that it requires a totalitarian organization of society in which the Capitalist class rules over the working class. The legal structure of society is set up to enforce this system. Eventually, once all the physical capital is made and the labor knows how to use it, Capitalism becomes inefficient. Capitalists cease to do anything and the legal system is outdated and rewards them for doing nothing. The economic needs of the people come into conflict with the legal system. This is why the revolution, for him, is a necessary development.

    Whatever kind of system you declare the American System to be, you have to agree that it's primary goal is not to generate physical Capital. Even if you disagree with Marx, I think you have to admit that he's responsible for giving "Capitalism" the primary meaning it has today. I think because of this, we should cease calling certain economies "Capitalist".
     
  17. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    This misses completely Marx's conception of commodity production, ie the difference between use-value and exchange-value.

    - Chasse, Robert, 'Certain Extraordinary Considerations Contributing to the Understanding of the Devolution of Capitalism and Bureaucratization of Existence', in Situationist International: Review of the American section of the S.I., Number 1, June 1969, p. 14.

    All social wealth is necessarily 'commodified' within Capitalism in order to realise profit, thus, as Marx notes above 'exchange value' (the value of a given commodity) exists independently from use value. Herein, yr comments:
    are correct, and I agree that Capitalism has developed beyond extracting surplus value from our labour in the creation of physical wealth (ie commodities that have use value); now surplus value is also realised from the production of commodities devoid of use value ("commodity production is production for use").

    So thus methinks we are seeing the logical development of commodification within Capitalism. I think it is more accurate to say Capitalism has changed and developed, rather than these economies ceasing to be 'Capitalist'.

    However, it does make for some difficult questions for Marxists inre: social revolution, and most specifically whom is the 'revolutionary agent of change'.
    http://libcom.org/library/capitalism-introduction
    whom these grave diggers are nowadays is much more complex when sections of the employed working class are actually non-productive (in use-value terms).

    *edit:
    A brief look at this thread:
    http://libcom.org/forums/theory/capital ... 2-22092008
    raised some interesting points, especially inre: use value as a social construction. Moreover, i was kinda unable to articulate why, exactly, yr statement:
    is wrong, rather 'the point' is to extract surplus value from the production of commodities.

    for example:
     
  18. Bentheanarchist

    BentheanarchistExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Dec 10, 2010
     
    I meant the US has gone so overboard with capitalism; It is now not even Capitalist anymore, Its something way bigger than capitalism.
     
  19. Sarmaister

    SarmaisterMember Forum Member


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    Aug 8, 2011
     
    simple equasion

    socialism = lower class
    capitalism = middle class
    fascism = upper class


    now whats going on in the US is id say a typical progression towards fascism with their vast armaments industry , their active roll in supporting and then attacking despotic autocrat regimes , and the benefits taken by the upper class in form of tax cuts and benefits , their government is litteraly being pulled apart by their own two party system in which the republicans represent the far right , and the democrats are the part¸y of compromise - in this case with ludacris conservatives who have no real platform or program , just dumb catchy slogans. The middle class which was the essence of american progress is now totaly dismissed . first of all by assimilation into democratic party lines (thus eliminating revolutionary or social aspects of movements) , and second by ratialization of issues so the working and middle class dont begin to consider themselves as CLASSES . add to that the dumb and unimportant issues being placed through the media and you get a clearer picture of fascism with smiley faces instead of swasticas
     
  20. Jester79

    Jester79New Member New Member


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    May 5, 2011
     
    Yes it is. The thing with republic and countries like the USA is that many think they are ruled by politicians, but actually they are ruled by banks.
    They dictate the way a country is evolving. Best example is the bailout. And who do they care about the most, John Doe making a normal living, or mr Bigshot owning a company?
    Smart leechers leech leeches.

    If you look at what's happening here in Europe, capitalism should be left to die, instead of patching it up with the money of the working, but staying clear of the wealth of leechers.
     
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