Covid 19 - the end of Capitalism?

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  • From Philip Pulman

    “It’s all got to change,” he writes. “If we come out of this crisis with all the rickety, fly-blown, worm-eaten old structures still intact, the same vain and indolent public schoolboys in charge, the same hedge fund managers stuffing their overloaded pockets with greasy fingers, our descendants will not forgive us.”

    https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2020/a­pr/21/philip-pullman-ministers-should-fa­ce-charges-if-brexit-politics-slowed-ppe­

  • Wouldn't put it past the Tories to make the case that the only way to pay some of the covidebt off is to sell the NHS, frankly.

  • And across the Atlantic Capitalism reigns supreme when it comes to water:
    Pep$i and Co£e bottling water from municipal supplies then selling with huge mark up, while their water bill remains unpaid
    wtf?

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020­/apr/23/pepsi-coke-bottled-water-consume­r-reports

  • Are we our own creditors, and so our own debtors?
    (I think I asked that up thread)

    Question posed in this piece by Adam Tooze
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre­e/2020/apr/27/economy-recover-coronaviru­s-debt-austerity

  • There was some talk, possibly not in this thread, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it was about a number of fundamental tenets of modern (capitalist) society, one of which was people need to think that they need to buy new stuff all the time

    Vague! any help?

  • nice one, yes

    especially this bit:

    The 'dominant ideology' requires us to: 1. covet material goods 2. outwardly display wealth 3. spend money whether we have it or not 4. don't worry too much about the planet 5. fetishise speed and power

  • 7/ In our dominant ideology, cycling is an aberration. It ignores technological progress, modern patterns of credit and consumption, the virtues of speed and power, and the idea of a car as a status symbol. This is where the myth of the "arrogant cyclist" comes from.

    That's an absolute joke though.

  • Surely that's a consumerist philosophy rather than capitalist? You can't have consumerism without capitalism, but the two are not the same.

  • I’d venture that it’s corporatocracy run amok rather than an intrinsic problem with capitalism.

    It’s possible to have extractive industries that don’t e.g., wantonly destroy ecosystems or routinely screw over smaller players (like the Michigan municipalities in your link). It’s just that there has been a decades long trend in which the system increasingly incentivises corporations to do whatever it takes to generate higher profits, while also failing to adequately penalise said corporations (and the decision makers within them) when they break the law. The great trick is that the system can be re-designed, but the players in power have no incentive to do so.

  • It’s possible to have extractive industries that don’t e.g., wantonly destroy ecosystems

    Sure it is though ethical businesses are the exception, not the rule.

    The superordinate necessity in Capitalism is to grow, become richer, bigger, (faster).

    Regulation can limit this to a degree yet that is considered by many capitalist as state interference.

  • Regulation can limit this to a degree yet that is considered by many capitalist as state interference.

    I think it's actually pretty mainstream to acknowledge that capitalism depends on strong regulation.

    Despite the noisy neocon minority, it should be obvious that capitalism depends on the state and its laws, because it depends on property rights and contracts being enforceable in court.

    The fact that the broadly-sane "minimal effective regulation" position easily blurs into the questionable "minimal regulation" one and thence into the crazy "no regulation" which is mostly just a smokescreen for corruption doesn't help, admittedly.

  • Despite the noisy neocon minority, it should be obvious that capitalism depends on the state and its laws, because it depends on property rights and contracts being enforceable in court.

    Not only that. All but the most fruitbat crazy of economists would accept the concepts of externalities and public good, and dealing with both of those is by definition outside the scope of the free market but can only be dealt with by a centralised state.

    That's the problem with using such a broad umbrella term as 'capitalism', as it covers such a wide spectrum of different sociological, economic and political models. From neo-con Gordon Gecko 'greed is good' US neo-cons still wedded to the concept of a trickle-down economy, to social democratic systems such as the Scandinavian countries which, still entirely capitalist, nevertheless allow the state to play a major role in social policy.

  • The superordinate necessity in Capitalism is to grow, become richer, bigger, (faster).

    Consumerism, yes, capitalism, no.

    The fundamental concept behind capitalist economic models is to maximise value. Value is measured in financial terms, but what constitutes value depends on the viewpoints of the members of the state in question. Capitalism is merely a system which allows supply and demand to be determined primarily by the free market and economic forces, subject to state intervention through taxes, regulations and social welfare systems, rather than a centralised command and control economy, where supply is determined politically and demand is told to go fuck itself.

  • Capitalism is merely a system which allows supply and demand to be determined primarily by the free market and economic forces, subject to state intervention through taxes, regulations and social welfare systems

    Aka a 'mixed economy'?

    Though in most economies growth is a crucial element.

    Growth relies on selling more stuff, creating demand through marketing, using up scarce resources.

    In contrast to a sustainable economic model which recycles and reuses old stuff, utilises free stuff like sunlight and wind for energy.

    Though I suppose investing in renewables is a capitalist endeavour where companies that provide the tech to harness the wind/sun can sell energy produced from these free resources to people.

    Sorry late night rambles 🍺

  • Aka a 'mixed economy'?<

    Has there been a modern economy where this didn’t happen?

    The ‘free market’ as an ideal, natural balance that can only be constrained (and by extension damaged) by government intervention seems to be an ideological construct seeking to justify an economic agenda (maybe we can blame the neo-libs for this). I’ll go out on a limb and say that this flavour of capitalism isn’t ‘the one true capitalism’ (TM), and in fact there isn’t such a thing. Neo-libs might have us think otherwise, but they’ve been stacking the deck in their own favour for several decades now, using those same powers of the State that they decry as interventionist. We could flip the script and instate a new, less rapacious capitalism, but damn if I or anyone seems to know how.

    Though in most economies growth is a crucial element.

    Growth relies on selling more stuff, creating demand through marketing, using up scarce resources.<

    You make a good point. Without meaning to go off on a tangent, it reminds me of the Malthusian theory (of populations growing to match and exceed any increase in food production), but the Malthusian theory didn’t play out when US or European food production far outpaced their population growth. Maybe they haven’t caught up yet? Or maybe folks don’t have as many kids nowadays because they think it could be detrimental to their lives beyond a certain number, and maybe that could happen with material growth as well. Doubt that could happen in our current world though.

    🥃 does it need to be past 5 o’clock anymore?

  • 🥃 does it need to be past 5 o’clock anymore

    Nope apparently 4:20pm is the new 5pm

  • Op piece in the NYT by some folks from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv U, and LSE suggesting a compressed work week to combat spread of C19.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/opini­on/coronavirus-reopen.html

  • Anecdote :- Daughter is viewing houses down at the bottom of the market, put offers in on two and both have gone for above market price, one had been up for just two days.
    Generilisation:- Looks like folk have come from lock down with frustration and impatience.
    Leeds at 130k back to back terrace houses

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Covid 19 - the end of Capitalism?

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer

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