Sent time:   Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:45:26 PM
Subject:   Re: Re: [september17discuss] Re: OWS: Yes, we are anti-capitalist!

 Well when I talk about capitalism I am talking about market economies where prices communicate scarcity or surplus by rising and falling.  In most of these economies people do get paid for labor and, since there are many more people trying to sell their labor than there are businesses buying labor, the advantage goes to the few as capitalist theory predicts it would.  And as most capitalist textbooks point out only the government has the power to step in and balance that, by supporting unions for example (kudos to Ohio by the way!). 
Last I heard, in Venezuela there was a major government initiative to train workers to run their own collective factories, often in previously shuttered businesses.  I would love to hear how that is going these days, because I wouldn't mind moving away from wage labor if an effective system was to replace it.  My boss is NYC and they are killing me right now.
When it comes to stock, now you are talking about corporations, and they have been using their increasing rights and decreasing responsibilities to gain disprortionate power which is definitely something we should be fighting.  I would start with a constitutional amendment to end corporate person hood.
On 11/09/11, Jon Good<> wrote:
Let's not forget, by the way, what capitalism is and what it isn't.  Many non-capitalist systems have money, and even have profits.  Capitalism specifically is a system where  the rights to reap the profits of others' labor are for sale to the highest bidder. That's what owning stocks is: buying shares of a company's stock is buying a stake in the ownership of that company (this is called "equity").  Since a company is obligated to turn profits for its shareholders, it has to keep expanding or to increase its profit margin in its current market so its value (and thus the stock price) keeps going up.

Too many folks have the notion that capitalism is defined as everything America does, and socialism is everything we don't do.

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 12:27 AM, <> wrote:
Lauren, That's the best anti-capital argument I've heard yet, but try to go to the poorest parts of the world and take away their few pennies and they will fight to the death for them.  Any good system redesign starts with the human relations that already exist and then makes many small changes that spread power out and down.  The problem with many socialist experimants were that they were radical all or nothing experiments that ignored existing economic and power relationships and tried to replace the whole system at the same time.  Its like trying to rip out the entire NYC subway on the same day and replace it with air tube cars the next.  Air tube cars may be great but real change takes time.
On 11/08/11, Lauren<> wrote:
What alternative has even been allowed to run unimpeded?

Socialism? Social-capitalism is merely a stopgap to make the european
and latin american working class shut up.

Communism? Communism in Russia died in 1921. Maoism is confucianism
with a coat of red paint.

Anarchism? Yes, I guess being beaten by the combined might of Hitler,
Stalin, Mussolini and Franco, despite there being a war between each
other, could count as an objective measurement of failure, assuming
that your ethical standards are those of a jackbooted thug.

Where is the success of capitalism in Africa? Why do we keep being
reminded about the kulaks, but never about the millions who died
during the rubber boom, never about the millions who died during the
dust bowl, never about the millions who died because of Britain's
laissez-mourir approach to famines in India, Ireland, Africa?

Capitalist wealth is the wealth of empire. It's the illusion brought
about by concentration, by homogenization of societies that used to be
heterogenous even there; wealthy countries with wealthy regions with
wealthy cities with wealthy neighborhoods. Hey, some of the country
doesn't have electricity and running water? It's okay, we have
billionaires in the capital who are really enjoying the success of