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  • Capitalism is Opposed to Human Happiness Debate

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    Discussion Eight
    Posts #36-#40

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    Post #36

    Date: 07-24-2010, 02:51 PM
    By Antix...

    Originally Posted by Punkerslut
    Hello, everyone,

    The argument I'm presenting here will hopefully be clear and concise. The only thing I am trying to prove that human happiness is opposed to Capitalism, or any system where the means of production are owned and controlled by a very few compared to the whole of society. My argument is for Socialism: the idea that society better serves the needs of its participants when everyone has an equal voice in directing the economy's productive forces. My argument follows this basic reasoning...

    (1) Material existence, though not necessary to happiness, certainly helps better provide for it. You could compare sleeping on a bed versus a rock-hard surface, eating nutritious food versus having to live off of rice everyday, or being able to afford necessary medicine for family members versus having to watch them suffer. It is possible, in any of these cases, that the person who does not have the economic opportunity is happier than the person who does; in a sort of Thoreau-esque, rugged individualism. But, for the most part, each of us would imagine ourselves to be happier with the material existence.

    (2) There is an inequality of bargaining power between the Capitalist and the laborer; or the one who possesses the factories and mines against the one who creates, maintains, and works them. They need each other, yes, but the worker needs the Capitalist far, far more. This inequality of need, just like any situation where bargaining occurs, leads to an inequality of bargaining power -- and, similarly, an inequality of outcome. No worker can live without having some tools of production, but the majority of these tools are possessed by a very few. Herein leads to the inequality of bargaining power. This means that the laborer must be content to give away a portion of their production to the sustenance of the Capitalist. And, furthermore, it shall be up to the Capitalist to decide whether to plough the fields or harvest them -- whether or not the workers are able or hungry. Food will be destroyed or dumped into the ocean, for instance, when trying to sell it would lead to price declines or lessened profit.

    (3) Take that material existence contributes to human happiness and that inequality of bargaining power leads necessarily to inequality of material existence. If we believe in human happiness as an ultimate end of society, then necessarily, it is within our duty to work towards the equalizing of bargaining power for all participants of society. Naturally, there is no way to have them completely equal, unless each person is an equal possessor of the means of production.

    This is not to say that everyone should be paid the same wage. It is only to say that society ought to be reorganized so that no person can live off of anyone else, and that each person has the right to claim the full fruit of their labors. This serves our ultimate purpose of human happiness, since it better provides for each member of society to receive according to their contribution, without being subjugated to a master of economy. Hence, Capitalism is opposed to human happiness.

    SOCIALISM DOESNT WORK, CAPITALISM DOES. It stops working when government allows illegal activity of corporations and banks, which they clearly have. If you dont understand, its probably why you are making this post. Your probably not a student of history and probably someone who just became politically active. Please, go read about socialism has worked throughout history. The major problems this country has is a lack of education. A lack of education in what a capitalistic system is and a lack of education in what to look for when the socialist system is imposed on our capitalist system.

    You are right, Capitalism does not support human happiness. It supports individual happiness. For anything to support the collective human happiness, you need to take happiness from someone who is really happy and give that happiness to someone who in not happy so that in fact everyone will be equally happy.

    Will someone be happy when their happiness is taken away and given to someone else?
    Will happiness REALLY be considered happiness if everyone experiences it? No, it will be called normalness, not happiness.

    There are some very simple arguments against the collectivistic ideas. Thats the reason why it doesnt work. If its illogical to begin with, how could anyone expect it to work?

    Post #37

    Date: 07-24-2010, 03:15 PM
    By Antix...

    And Ill also debate your argument specifically.

    1) Material Existance: I understand that you are basically saying that meterial wealth does not create happiness, that is true. But, your argument is logically wrong because you refer to a type of person who is at an economic disadvantage as having the same benefit of an economically sufficeint person, which is a logical fallacy. Money is needed for a nice bed, good food and medicine. None of those objects are create by volunteers. In short, you must work for your own health, comfort and quality of life, or else someone else will have to work for you. This is not the idea of a free society considering no one volunteers their hard earned money to pay for someone else's problems. Our country is not a democracy, it is a republic which protects individual rights, not the rights of the majority.

    2)Inequality of Bargaining power: I think you miss the point of a business owner and an employee. Not all can be business owners and not all can be an employee, or a laberor as you refer to. In capitalism, you must have both. What you fail to understand is that capitalism should have as little government involvement as possible. Why? Because a capitalist system ceses to be capitalist when the free market ceses to exist. You cannot have government making it harder, more expensive or influencing markets and continue to have free markets. So, all the seperation of wealth has nothing to do with capitalism, it has to do with corporations being in bed with politicians so that the politicians will pass laws and regulations in favor of themselves, thus hurting anyone who doesnt have that kind of economic pull (I.E. Employees and laborors). But what about small business? Capitalism, especially in our system, is supposed to be small business based. Do you know a small business that is growing like it might have 15 years ago? I dont. I do know there is fewer and fewer small business being able to sustain themselves and less and less new business being created. This is because while big corporations are bailed out and given breaks, small business is constantly monitored for taxes and employee regulations that the cost of doing business has sky rocketed, another reason why the majority of this country suffers while a few on top prosper.

    I think your conclusion is right: There must be a level playing field. But the creation of this unequal enviornment is not due to capitalism, it is due to coruption. The second that corporations are able to exercise freedom of speech by donating gobs of money to campaigns is when and where this corruption has spawned. Corporations pertaining to law are considered to be a living entity with certain rights just as an individual person would have, but cannot be subject to the same punishment as a person because it is simply not a person, it is a business that is created to make money. In terms of corporations and capitalism, the corporation should be at a disadvantage because of the power and wealth a proper corporation can aquire opposed to the small business. Not harder and more expensive to do business, but be restricted on the corporation's rights to influence politicians as small business had the right to do so, just does not have the means to do so.

    We dont have a capitalist system anymore, its corporatist, which is why the corporations are at large, the only ones benefitting.

    Post #38

    Date: 07-24-2010, 03:18 PM
    By maat...

    Originally Posted by samiam5211
    I agree that Capitalism seems to be the system that is best suited to accommodate human greed, but this doesn't mean that greed can't drag down the economy in a Capitalist system.

    The economic problems that we are currently dealing with are essentially a consequence of greed.

    I would not give all the credit to greed as the cause of this recession. The government established the playing field and basically forced brokers to play or die. It is the result of unintended consequences through improper government intrusion into the free market. Basically, the government said to ignor the risk by allowing F&F to buy up toxic assets.

    Post #39

    Date: 07-24-2010, 03:20 PM
    By Antix...

    Originally Posted by maat
    I would not give all the credit to greed as the cause of this recession. The government established the playing field and basically forced brokers to play or die. It is the result of unintended consequences through improper government intrusion into the free market. Basically, the government said to ignor the risk by allowing F&F to buy up toxic assets.

    Exactly what I was getting at, just a much shorter version haha

    Post #40

    Date: 07-24-2010, 03:34 PM
    By geofree...

    Originally Posted by Antix

    Wrong. Capitalism doesnít work either. Just look around you.

    Capitalism without huge government involvement is so unstable it can last for a generation or two at most. When people canít feed themselves or their children they tend to get a little cranky. Thatís what happens when you privilege some individuals to all that the earth has to offer, and deprive others of those advantages. Capitalism deprives most individuals of their right to use the earth and other natural opportunities, that is what makes it so politically unstable.

    Consider this alternative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geolibertarianism

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