February 04, 2008
By: Bernard Chazelle
Newsweek's European economics editor, Stefan Theil, waits for the US economy to tank to tell us this:
In France and Germany, students are being forced to undergo a dangerous indoctrination. Taught that economic principles such as capitalism, free markets, and entrepreneurship are savage, unhealthy, and immoral, these children are raised on a diet of prejudice and bias. Rooting it out may determine whether Europe’s economies prosper or continue to be left behind.
I, too, love rooting out diets. I consider diets eminently rootable.
They study from textbooks filled with a doctrine of dissent, which they learn to recite as they prepare to attend many of the better universities in the world. Extracting these children from the jaws of bias could mean the difference between world prosperity and menacing global rifts.
The jaws of bias again!
Menacing global rifts!
Doctrine of dissent! (Nice oxymoron.)
Are the comedy writers still on strike?
A left-leaning majority, within both the parliament and the public at large, makes the world’s third-largest economy vulnerable to destructive policies driven by anticapitalist resentment and fear of globalization. Similar situations are easily conceivable elsewhere and have already helped bring populists to power in Latin America.
Why do people want paid vacations, health care, maternity leaves, child care??? Because of fear and resentment! That's why.
French students, on the other hand, do not learn economics so much as a very specific, highly biased discourse about economics.
What an amazing statement! The "science of economics" vs a (leftwing) doctrinal discourse about economics. The idea is this: you have physics with Newton's, Maxwell's, Schroedinger's equations; and then you have economics with scientific "laws" about free markets, profits, labor division, privatisation, etc. It's all science.
It's also all crap. The so-called laws of economics are every bit as doctrinal, discretionary, and arbitrary as any "discourse" about them. Economics is discourse. It's not science. Neoliberalism is a human choice, just as communism is. Gravity is the same everywhere. Economic systems differ widely and choosing among them is simply a matter of preference. In fact, it's called freedom. The totalitarian tone of Thiel's piece is unmistakable.
The oldest trick in the book: Why are you picking my pockets? I am not. Nature is and I am just its humble agent.
I only wonder, where in the theory does the part about Communist China bailing out the US economy fit?
Gotta go. Gotta snatch prejudice from the jaws of bias and root out some diets before the day is done.
— Bernard Chazelle
Posted at February 4, 2008 08:41 PM
"Economics is discourse."
This is a keen quote for what it implies if you believe in free speech; and what a good and simple test it makes to prove someone doesn't.
Another story from France. In a kindergarten school, the teacher talks about strikes and has the kids draw people on strike with cards and stuff. And then some parents go say that the children are indoctrinated.
The right-wing has indeed a plan to insert "economic science" at school. But it will fail cause the roots for discontent are deeper than just what the teacher said in 8th grade. Also, there is a Left in France.
Through the writer's thick screen of ideological rage I am unable to perceive whether he's got a point - what, exactly, do these textbooks say, or what are Fr/De kids being taught?
well, the overwhelming consensus among European leaders is behind markets, trade, globalization. Well, globally, this is a fact. It is only marginalized and ignorant parlor intellectuals like yourself who sqwawk impotently against reality. And to think you went to Yale. Ugh, I have a tenth grade education, and yet I am more attuned to what really makes the world turn than you ever will. (One of the things I do particularly dislike about the US is the extent to which access to education depends upon social class, and hillbillies like myself are presumed unworthy of better than community college education.)
do these textbooks say, or what are Fr/De kids being taught?
Something not in the interests of those who pay Stefan Theil's salary, I warrant you. Part of the predicament of being in the grip of an ideology, as is plainly the case with Mr. Theil, is that one does not have a clue that one is thus encumbered.
the economist is simply picking up on a "debate" launched in France by the rightwing gvt about the content of textbooks used in economy classes.
This was entirely debunked by French journalists who... read the textbooks! (the horror! how dare they! researching their topic, doing their job, oh my... my country is doomed)
We had a few nice articles in the French press exposing the results of this research. It appears in fact that explaining labour law and the role of unions was the thing causing all this.
I mean: French textbooks explaining French labour law and the role of French unions in the French society...
Though this quote from the economist is so much over the top...
well, the triumph of liberal democracy, or at least liberal economics, has driven the biggest changes in modern world history. And if you ask anyone who lived under communism if they'd want to return to it, or if they prefer (in some cases flawed) liberal market economies, nobody would choose a return. I don't think even a return to 70s style social democracy is politically viable.
You people are about as clueless as the right wing yahoos you ridicule, but at least they don't go about posturing as intellectuals. Ugh.
Access to education is certainly correlated with class, but I know plenty of dirt-poor people who went to my alma mater (MIT). They're deep in debt for the next thirty years, but they did it.
Anyway, xyz, apparently you didn't improve your reading comprehension in hillbilly community college. No one's arguing for communism in this thread; but one might make differentiations between complete laissez-faire capitalism of the sort favored by Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan (and practiced in, say, Argentina ~ the 1990s) and the socialism-lite capitalism favored in, say, France and Germany.
well, the triumph of liberal democracy, or at least liberal economics, has driven the biggest changes in modern world history.
Not really. The 18th century France wasn't "modern" in any way other than economic. Workers worked 12h a day and syndicalists were sent to prison in the name of protecting that economic freedom. In the US, land of the economic freedom, such syndicalists could get killed.
I think you're confusing economic freedom, which in America means freedom of the rich, with civil rights which were indeed abused by the Communists, but they were by the Capitalists too. Therefore, there is no need to be so convinced of anyone's superiority or inferiority.
And don't "ugh" us again.
Scrap that. I meant to say the 19th century.
Fundamentalists like you XYZ fall into the common trap of regarding every person who dares to question a free market policy as a communist. Well I've got news for you - Europe is a capitalist entity. Sweden, that bastion of tree-hugging, hippy-lovin, commie-fagatronic-evilness has a free market economy, private ownership and god-forbid - a stock market. It is closer to the US model of economics than it ever was or will ever be to the Soviet Union. We get it XYZ. We like it. We don't want to change it.
But I don't think you're gonna make much headway arguing that simply raising issues of "paid vacations, health care, maternity leaves, child care" as Bernard says makes him a "communist" who yearns for a Soviet gulag state, well, good luck with that.
So maybe if you get back to swillin your moonshine the rest of the world will leave you, your quaint straw men and your cute little plastic bubble alone.
XYZ: The author worries that European economies will continue to be left behind. Then he builds his case around the hypothesis that this is a scientific statement, not a random opinion (hence the use of words like indoctrination, bias, prejudice).
My point is that one can make an equally valid case that European economies have forged ahead of the US by pointing out that, by just about any measure you can think of, standards of living are higher in Europe than here.
In other words, there is no science. It's just a debate about whether one prefers vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream. The author rants against textbooks indoctrinating innocent souls into an irrational love of chocolate ice cream.
If you visit Sweden you'll see that between Wal-Mart and the Gulag there is a world of possibilities.
Bernard-> I just want to emphasize what my countryman said: the textbooks aren't even indoctrinating innocent souls. They just put strikers under a positive light. A sacrilege to be sure.
well, sure, there is room between WMT and the gulag. but there is a solid and powerfully compelling concensus about some basic "laws" of economics, and econ is more amenable to such reasoning that, say, taste in ice cream. And there is a widespread tendency for dumb bunnies who don't understand to the first thing about econ or law (Naomi Klien, J. Schwartz) to blather on about what they think would be more fair or more nice or to their liking, and to the extent young minds are exposed to such posturing non-sense, the less likely they will understand very well the real policy choices.
xyz: yes, there is a consensus about certain economic mechanisms, but these have little to do with the fact that some people like paid vacations and others (not you obviously) are bothered that nearly a quarter of all children in the world's richest nation live in poverty.
The only OECD nation that beats the US in child poverty: Mexico!
Makes you proud, doesn't it?
The oldest trick in the book: Why are you picking my pockets? I am not. Nature is and I am just its humble agent.
According to one of the early European engineers in Ceylon, the natives had a saying about crocodiles.
"The Crocodile does not kill his prey," the saying goes. "He merely knocks you into the water, drags you to the bottom, and deposits you there, in a snag, and then he crawls out onto the bank to show the Lord Buddha that it isn't he who is drowning you, it is the River's doing."
If Mr. xyz wants a "posturing" opinion from a banker that supports the ideas of people like Klein, Scharz et al, he should check out the work of Jerome Guillet.
This post on "The Anglo Disease" is a good place to start -
Bernard, there's no room for dissent in a free market! Don't you know that?
Besides, look what happened when German students were raised on a diet of prejudice toward Jewish bankers and shopkeepers. Why, the German economy tanked, of course! and had to be artificially propped up with military expenditures and raw materials from enslaved nations. It was a mess.
So let's be on the lookout for prejudice against open markets, people.
I think someone already made this connection: raising taxes is the equivalent of the Holocaust - Grover Norquist, iirc? So, now to really impress people you need to boost it a bit more, 'cause now the Holocaust doesn't sound so scary anymore, you see.
XYZ traffics in non sequiturs. Enough said.
Bruce: What they've done at Eurotrib is quite amazing: they've put together an energy policy that puts to shame the work of any think tank in scope, depth, and expertise. It took them years of work (many of them are energy pros) and it's got to be the most impressive collaborative effort on the web I've seen in a long time.
Wait, wait, wait...let's back up here for a second. Naomi Klein and Jon Schwartz are bunnies?!?
I have to rethink everything now.
Jonathan Schwartz is the CEO of Sun Microsystems, btw. Sort of explains the behavior of that enterprise in recent years - it's being run by communist rabbits. Certainly explains their new-found devotion to open-source and their adoption of the GNU GPL.
Mr. xyz - can you please, please, stop trolling and actually say something substantial? I'm really interested in having a conversation, here. Like: what are some fundamental "laws" of economics? Do you mean merely the behavior of abstract markets? Okay - but are there fundamental economic "laws" about how wealth should be apportioned, or what the goal of an economy should be, or even what the optimal structure of an economy to achieve some particular goal (say, steady growth) is?
Oh what a strange creature the Ecconomist
In the land of supply and demand
He sees neither the Salesman
Nor the guy with cash in his hand
Only the fine line of a Lafer Curve
Horizontal, not up or down
And when their convoluted models collaspe
(As they must)
Only market forces can be found.
this post is a godsend. i've just returned from my late night intro to microeconomics course, which i lovingly refer to as "capatalist propaganda 101" (an economics class is, alas, the final requirement for my degree). before the semester began, i mistakenly thought that here, in a university in the united states, there would be at least some semblance of neutrality in the way material would be presented in the class, (a bit of "here are the positive and negatives of this particular form of economy, etc.") even if it would be, in general, a rather biased course. i really don't know now, though, why i imagined to hear anything less than the pure dogma were being taught. an economics dept. in the united states and a plurality of views? what was i thinking?
really, its no wonder that all the date rapists are econ majors.
Wow, what a bunch of fucktards. Dear xyz, capitalists were the ones slaughtering all around the world in North America, South America, Africa and Asia.
The current capitalist powers DID NOT START FROM FUCKING SCRATCH AND "WORKED HARD" to reach their current level.
If you weren't a fascist, greedy white supremacist, you'd see that ALL the "civilized", rich and capitalist nations of today got their goodies - and, in America's case the land too - from colonialism, genocide and slavery.
So, dear fascist, white supremacist apologist, where exactly does looting, slaughtering and slavery fit in the "free markets" bull crap of today? Without the stolen land, the looted resources and the slave labour, all Western Europe would've been 3rd world countries, and USA would not have existed.
Your dear capitalists were the ones who fought FOR child labour, FOR slavery, FOR as_much_as_i_want_you_too_work-work-day and so on.
Also, name the capitalists that invented penicillin, or calculus, or basic medical triage, or the otto engine, or the diesel engine and so on...
Nope, you can't. The capitalists were the ones PROFITING from others people's intellectual and physical work.
Your "free markets" if a fucking fascist lie, as US, France and other "free" and bullshit countries subsidies their agriculture by as much as 60% while us, at the receiving end of the gun, you know, the "dump markets" aren't allow to subsidize even 5% by IMF and crap, because "it damages the economy". Now most of the fruits are imported, fascist western corporations profit from us and we can't grow our own fucking food, because if my male pig FUCKS my female pig and they have some pig calf, i'm breaking a genetic patent enforced by the largest army on the planet.
Furthermore, if we decide to do something about it, the next day CNN and FOX will say we have mass graves, weapons of mass destruction and crap like that, and your dumbshit fascist ignorant hillbilies will be sent in to pour white phosphorous and napalm.
Even more so, what the fuck did this uber-capitalism of yours give us? ipods? suv? cheap flights? all food infested with cancerous E3xx, aritifial flavours, artificial colors, artificial growth hormones? And this is suppose to "benefit society"? Who the fuck benefits most from this? The capitalist. The top 1% of the one OWNING other people's work. And they own it by force.
Also, do dwell into the retarded crap about communism that all ignorant retarded americans take for granted - you know, the Rambo and Red Dawn shit you all take for real fact - Communism didn't beat you to death in a political prison and didn't force relocate entire cities. A TOTALITARIAN MILITARY DICTATORSHIP DID, you fucking retard. Chile is praised as a "capitalist economy", yet that fascist murderous fuck you put there, Pinochet, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. Oops.. no commies, your capitalist buddies... Same shit.
Further, if you actually READ and INFORMED yourself - which obviously you can't, as most imbeciles living on stolen and genocide land can't - communism requires PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY. The labour is OWNED by the people. There's NO present or past communist state where this happend. What happend is that a totalitarian military dictatorship "managed" for their own interests the economy.
Soviet communism and its offspring BEHAVED LIKE A CAPITALIST SINGULARITY. Like a fucking gigantic corporation owning ALL industry and services, unaccountable to the people.
What the fuck is the difference between state owns industry and the state is owned by a group of all powerful, unaccountable individuals on one side and, private corporation(s) own the industry, ruled by a group of private individuals, unaccountable and these individuals OWN the state. The presidents and vice-presidents and shareholders (the final decision making factors in corporations) are your rulers. From Cheney, Rumsfeld and so on?
What's the difference retards? Oh, Cheney's factories give you cheap gigantic plasma tvs... Right... No wait, in communist states, with all the shit (and I know, I've lived under one, unlike you fascist retard I can have an INFORMED OPINION) the stuff available was made by the people who, for better or worse had an 8h work day, no overtime, pensions and medical care (far better that the collapsing crap of today) free education (i have education talling up to a doctorate degree for free)
In your system you great "achievements" like plasma tvs, cheap cars, cheap ipods, cheap infested food, all these products you take for granted as the result of bullshit like "capitalist economy", "free market" and "globalization" are in fact made IN SLAVE LABOUR CONDITIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD while YOUR population is forced in unemployment. What the fuck is great about your capitalist Nike shoes and Gap shirts and Plasma TVs? Asians slave labour, some under machinegun "supervision" in shitty work conditions, 12-16h/day work, limited or no social and medical benefits and so on.
Please, pull out a fascist white supremacist "blacks and asians are stupid, otherwise they'd had social protection and 8h workday like us", like most fucktards like you say in this situation. No, retard, they can't have 8h workday because if they go out and protest for an 8h work day or women and child labour regulations the governement rolls out the american and british tanks and crushes their skulls and then lines up their families and shoots them with american and british machineguns. And after this american and british "free press" tells the world that "communits/islamist/separatist rebels/terrorist attacked (why?) innocent civilians (murderous fascist filth put in power by US/UK buisness interest) but the governement restored order (killed them and burned their families alive)" This is how you make cheap goods. Suhatro in Indonesia, Pinochet in Chile (remember Chilean Copper and Chilean auto parts for Ford USA), Saddam in Iraq, all those fanatical fucks in Oman, Quatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and so on. They're all "on your side". The worst fanatical offenders of human rights, women rights and so on are ALL YOUR FUCKING BUDDIES.
And the last point: when measuring something scientifically, some phenomena or something THERE ARE RULES. Comparing Communist Russia and Capitalist America and saying that communism sucks and capitalism is the best and only way shows poor scientific understanding and practice at best.
The two phenomena DID NOT START FROM SIMILAR INITIAL CONDITIONS. Rusia was a devastated 3rd world country with over 30 million people dead (no, steven spielberg, tom hanks and 500k americans did not defeat hitler, 20-something million russian soldiers did, but hey, russians don't spend billions of dollars on digital interpreted history) no economy other than some tank and munitions factories and on on.
On the other hand, America saw NO COMBAT ACTION IN ITS TERRITORY (no, Pearl Harbour belonged to the people you took it by force - 200.000 killed by the brave and noble US service men, bringing Christianity and democracy), no losses except military ones in remote battle theatres, stood on a mountain of wealth aquired by genocide and slavery and on a vast mountain of natural resources which belong to at least 2 exterminated civilizations. and so on
Russia was ruled by a military dictatorship. There was no possibility of a "democratic" anything in there. On the other hand, white males in USA had a participatory democracy.
I could go on until I fill up this server but it would be pointless. The main point of interest is that 99% of the world population DOES NOT HAVE iPODS, DOES NOT HAVE PLASMA TS, DOES NOT HAVE CHEAP FLIGHTS and, generally does not have any of the so called "miracles" of the capitalist growth model. No, they have to work at gunpoint 18h/day in filth to dig out the copper needed to make plasma tvs, the aluminum needed to make airplanes for cheap flights, starve to death in the middle of humongous fields of genetically modified crops that make fuel and 1/3 fresh disposable food for americans, brits, french and so...
What you experience as a positive "miracle" is a fucking nightmare for the rest of the planet. For the people, for the environment and for the future generations (yours included).
You are funny. Not as funny as Mr S. Heil, though.
Pardon me for tweaking your scansion, Mike.
Oh what a strange creature the Economist
In the land of supply and demand
He sees neither the Salesman
Nor the guy with cash in his hand
Only the fine line of a Lafer Curve
Horizontal, not up or down
And when their contrived models collapse
(As they must)
Only market forces are found.
Or perhaps I just wasn't reading your version right?
well, I could care less about America generally speaking. Ignorant, boring, unpleasant people. And American parlor intellectuals are the most annoying people on planet earth. Of course, markets do not function everywhere, and of course markets need some degree of regulation. And the point is determining the optimal amount of marketization and regulation. But most of you dumb bunnies don't know the basics of economics, and I se that you mostly have very limited knowledge of history and other cultures to boot. Naomi Klien for example clearly has no friggin clue as to the course of Eastern Europe from the mid 80s to the present. But she blathers on about "shock capitalism" and how the poor Polish factory workers didn't get a chance to form syndicalist workers cooperatives. Jeepers, what a dumb c***. Much like most of you. Incidentally, I am a director in a major European multi-national and have worked in Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev and Ljubljana, among other places, so i have some clue as to how the world works.
Oh, and Uncle Bob performs a great service here. He basically amplifies and elaborates the basic arguments most of you DBs make, but with a dose of mania and without the pretension that suffuses most of your "discourses." And stripped of the intellectual pretension and faux moral superiority, and amped up with a bit of manic enthusiasm, it becomes obvious just how ridiculous your DB beliefs are.
xyz, you are a transparent troll with no arguments :-D Here, I've rewritten your post for you in meta format to save you time in future:
I think you're all college educated and American, so I'll insult that group.
First I'll take an assertion you've made and try to make it unclear. You seem bothered about markets, so I'll muddy the waters by saying you're right about them, it's just that you GO TOO FAR.
Now I'll just reel off some canards to get comfortable. Economics is truth. You must know the doctrines of economics to criticise it. Bad at math? You have no voice.
You are ignorant of history and non-American cultures. I say this simply because these are cliches that I know will ring true with you.
I will lump you in with other intellectuals as I know this will annoy you. Naomi Klein will do. I'll just pick some random thing she said and say it's wrong, then insult her. And then you. Mission accomplished!
Then I'll claim some spurious qualification to make myself look important.
Uncle Bob: HAVE YOU CALLED Nancy Pelosi @1-202-225-0100 and expressed YOUR deep feelings? She needs to hear from YOU.
me: I prefer convoluted
Incidentally, I am a director in a major European multi-national and have worked in Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev and Ljubljana, among other places, so i have some clue as to how the world works.
What a joke. You are a director and so you got everything figured out for everyone ? You know "how the world works" ? I know other directors who also think they know "how the world works", but their opinion is very different from yours. Should i listen to them or to you ?
Also, i find it quite strange that some guy from the other side of the world, who probably doesn't give a fuck about non-capitalists on the other side of the planet, would come here to show his superior "knowledge" of how "things work". With such insightful remarks as "Klein is a dumb cunt", "OK some markets do not function", "you're all dumb bunnies", "you don't understand the basics of economics", "get real".
Superior knowledge indeed.
But don't you see? You're all dumb bunnies! Try and refute that argument, why don't you?
You can't because you're all dumb. That, and you're bunnies. Not good at refutation, bunnies. Especially dumb ones.
"Incidentally, I am a director in a major European multi-national and have worked in Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev and Ljubljana, among other places, so i have some clue as to how the world works."
"Ugh, I have a tenth grade education, and yet I am more attuned to what really makes the world turn than you ever will."
Oh, can a white supremacist go even one paragraph without not only lying, but contradicting a lie? And, Jesus, what quality of mini-Nazi we have here! His worst insult is to accuse people who have nothing to do with us as being rabbits? (The misogyny goes hand in hand with the white supremacy and pissed-pants fear of honesty in economics, so there's no abnormal level of absurdity there. Just the normal levels.
xyz continues the propaganda that our current plutocracy is identical to capitalism. Fact of the matter is, what we have is not capitalism, except for a small portion of the population. The rest of us don't have assets to use as capital, and the system is rigged to prevent us from getting the same (which xyz complained about, not that I believe that for a minute; just another contradiction in his lies). This is nothing more than right-wing propaganda, livid that people aren't buying their lies. I can find the same meme on white supremacist websites: accuse the other side of propaganda (in a format which is in and of itself propaganda) and fail to back up your own position with any evidence.
Frankly, this is a religious issue, which is why people taking up immoral positions on the economy ("it exists for my sake and not yours") are so evidence-free. Because "free markets" are an article of faith, a religious coat covering the underlying corruption of the belief system (it cannot be honored by calling it a philosophy), putting strikers in a positive light is the ultimate sin. After all, this is a war of ideas and beliefs, not facts.
Damn, Uncle Bob.
I could live with the rest of the analysis, but you really seem to have it in for HD Plasma TVs.
All I know is, it's lovingly and anonymously made by little children's hands, and I must appreciate it for the beauty it brings. The reds, whites and blues of CNN in HD have never been more vibrant.
Fact of the matter is, what we have is not capitalism, except for a small portion of the population. The rest of us don't have assets to use as capital...
But that's what capitalism is. Some have capital, others (vast majority) provide labor. That is capitalism.
oh, no contradiction. I am a tenth grade drop-out, and I happen to be director of transaction research for a major consulting firm.
and although I loathe affirmative action and Cornel West, I am not a white supremacist.
Incidentally, I voted for Dean in 04.
" . . . have already helped bring populists to power in Latin American."
Oh God of all the Universe, save us from the populists in Latin America. We implore you.
There. That should do it.
Don't feed the troll, people. He did this before and there wasn't a trace of substance the previous time either.
"But that's what capitalism is. Some have capital, others (vast majority) provide labor. That is capitalism."
Not it's not. That would be like declaring communism is a small section of the population living on a commune while everyone else is in a direct democracy. In fact, since the government bails out corps that fails, we don't even have the beginnings of a capitalist system since we have a market that's decidedly noncompetitive. We have an oligarchy. If you want to call what we have capitalism, the bottom drops out of the English language.
I don't get the commune/direct democracy thing.
I think market (in the US, at least) is indeed very competitive, in fact much more competitive than I would like it to be. As for government bailouts and handouts - the corporations compete for them as well, they don't employ those million-a-year lobbyists for nothing.
A system of rent-collection competition is not capitalism. It is the abrogation of capitalism. Take a look at feudalism. I find it hard to understand how a market with decreasing players at the top each year is "too competitive." I find it absurd to even consider a market in which labor as been transformed into a disposible commodity to be "too competitive." It isn't competitive in the first place. If the only thing we're fighting over is how much we can steal, we are a criminal enterprise, certainly, but not capitalism.
If two men draw guns at a poker game in order to determine who gets to steal the pot, only an idiot would claim that the men are playing poker. A new game has begun. So it is here.
Nah, if factories are owned by individuals and the laborers work for wages - then it's capitalism. Cronyism, plutocracy, aggressive wars - these are merely characteristics of capitalism.
Then capitalism, abb1, means "anything humans do" because conyism, plutocracy, and aggressive wars are characteristics of ALL feudal societies and ALL dictatorships and nearly all criminal organizations and nearly all family dynasties (both those running states and private entities) not to mention, in a fit of pathetic irony, every communist nation ever.
Congratualtions, abb1, you've (and we) have wasted vast amounts of time talking about completely meaningless bullshit. Nothing anyone has ever said about capitalism, ever, has had any real weight since capitalism is just whatever people happen to be doing at the moment.
Perhaps the fallacy in your post is that you didn't respond to the points of the post you intended to respond to. Couldn't tell you. All I know is that you've proven my point, perhaps despite yourself.
...we) have wasted vast amounts of time talking about completely meaningless bullshit.
As opposed to wasting it on meaningful bullshit?
Time's wasted if you get nothing out of the discourse; not everyone is in the same boat. Wasting time at the keyboard keeps you from action oriented ambition, which in most cases has turned out destructive. A universe of lazy slackers is preferable to me contrasted with a universe populated with ambitious, profit-maximizing CEOs.
I am slightly confused by your arguments because it sounds like a no true Scotsman argument. Here:
In fact, since the government bails out corps that fails, we don't even have the beginnings of a capitalist system since we have a market that's decidedly noncompetitive. We have an oligarchy. If you want to call what we have capitalism, the bottom drops out of the English language.
Which is to my ears quite similar to the notion that it's not the Republican ideals that are fascist, but that it's implemented incompetently and the results are fascist. If only a non-fascist savior could be found. If only. Then we'd be in for a treat.
So, I'm not sure if you're going at some idealized notion of capitalism because what's officially labeled as capitalism happens to be the status quo.
...It isn't competitive in the first place. If the only thing we're fighting over is how much we can steal, we are a criminal enterprise, certainly, but not capitalism.
So it can be only one thing of the two? Perhaps by a strict definition that can be imposed objectively? :-) I have a red ball. It's soft, spongy, red, and round.
You know I never got back to you on the 2+2=4 objectivity. But here's my decidedly half-assed answer:
In my experience 2+2 has equaled four. But my experience only stretches four or five decades. If you extend the DNA life, it still only extends 4B years. Outside of that scope, I'm not too sure, but I'm keeping an open mind because I suspect that for sufficiently large quantities of two, the answer might be different. :-)
Which is to my ears quite similar to the notion that it's not the Republican ideals that are fascist, but that it's implemented incompetently and the results are fascist.
Which would be your problem, not mine. Since you never offered a definition of capitalism that is even REMOTELY different from the human condition, the problem is pretty much in your head, and I have no way of ferreting it out.
I have no idea what the rest of the stuff you said was about. Since you have defined capitalism as, well, everything we do (I just burped, which, by your rubric, was a capitalist act), the stuff you went on about objectivity doesn't really apply.
You can only know what something is if you can say what it isn't, and you don't seem to be able to say what capitalism isn't.