Pope Slams Capitalism, Inequality Between Rich And Poor In New Years Message
#21
(01-02-2013, 07:34 AM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote: http://distributistreview.com/mag/

[Image: distReview_logo_0812.png]

Do you write for said publication?

I consider myself a distributist.
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#22
(01-02-2013, 01:25 PM)Heinrich Wrote: Do you write for said publication?

I consider myself a distributist.

I don't, but I think it's excellent.
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#23
(01-02-2013, 01:28 PM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote:
(01-02-2013, 01:25 PM)Heinrich Wrote: Do you write for said publication?

I consider myself a distributist.

I don't, but I think it's excellent.

Maybe you should solicit your thoughts to them. I think with your background you could provide an acute understanding to both the legal and moral workings of this economic system.

Did you major in English as an undergraduate?
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#24
(01-02-2013, 01:49 PM)Heinrich Wrote: Maybe you should solicit your thoughts to them. I think with your background you could provide an acute understanding to both the legal and moral workings of this economic system.

Did you major in English as an undergraduate?

No, I was a philosophy major.  Thanks for the suggestion.
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#25
Quote: he is both more traditional and more radical than those who mistakenly believe that usurious capitalism

The sophmoric phrase "usurious capitalism" is annoying and shows ignorance.  There is nothing about capitalism that lends itself to usury.  Usury weakens capitalism.  We could talk about usurious fascism (e.g. the USA with $17 TRILLION in usury debt, or Mussolini's Italy), usurious socialism of Greece, usurious communism of Cuba, or even usurious feudalism of 17th century France.

Usury is evil.  Period.
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#26
Okay, but then we are led to the conclusion that capitalism never has existed and never will exist, since the vast majority of those who defend capitalism believe that there is nothing wrong with usury.

(01-02-2013, 11:16 AM)FleetingShadow Wrote: At the risk of getting myself shot.....

Can we PLEASE stop conflating capitalism with the idea of that mythical thing, the 'free market'?

Capitalism does not mean decentralised planning. Socialism does not mean centralised planning. Most advanced capitalist economies experience highly centralised decision-making. I'm not even talking about government 'interference'. I'm talking about the economic planning carried out by corporate elites. This isn't merely because the government facilitates it. It's because 'free markets' have inherently oligopolistic tendencies. The idealised Free Market (Hallowed be its Name) - in which perfect competition exists - self-destructs very quickly. A society in which economic power is in the hands of a tiny corporate elite is not necessarily more 'free' than one in which economic power in shared between corporate managers and democratically accountable institutions. Moreover, there is nothing in, say, US or Japanese models of government support for business that is contrary to the integrity of capitalism.

Capitalism refers to a specific mode of production - namely, one in which the surplus value extracted from an enterprise is legally the property of the capital provider. The opposite to capitalism is not 'central planning' - but democratic worker ownership and management. This, properly speaking, is what socialism means, notwithstanding the abuse of the word by Leninists and capitalists alike.

Good points. One could, I think, point to Karl Polanyi, G. D. H. Cole, William Morris, and other figures from the early 20th century in this regard. Many non-Marxian forms of socialism (or socialisms, if you want to be that way) were formulated as a response to the social disintegration caused by capitalism in the 19th century. The explicit medievalism of many early British socialists is especially interesting here.
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#27
Quote: In his full message for the peace day, the pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism does not protect society's weakest members.
So let's do a thought experiment.  I will have only one requirement, and make a plethora of concessiions.  So for the financial crisis, I'll grant that the whole world's economy is controlled by an evil jewish sanhedrin.  Further, we'll assume that their face man, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide can do what he wants, and that the goal of the sanhedrin is to squeeze every penny out of the goyim.  Furthermore, I'll grant that the CRA, Fannie, and Freddie had absolutely nothing to do with the crisis, and we'll ignore the secondary effects caused by the government, such as 10%  annual price appreciation making the pricing of insurance and risk basically impossible.  Ignore all of that.  EVERYTHING is about evil capitalist greed, and THEY have control.  Now my one requirement for this thought experiment.  Replace our current distributist banking model which has the government sponsored Federal Reserve banking guild, with a free market banking model, with 100% reserves, gold money, and free floating interest rates (not set by some guild).

So to begin.  You are the head of the sanhedrin.  Tell me the orders for Mozilo to carry out to squeeze the goyim borrowers.  Tell me how you will defraud them.  Remember, every loan drives up the interest rate in a free market system.  So even putting on 10% of the leverage that we actually saw would drive mortgage rates to 10%, and trying to lever to 40:1 would be impossible.  So how are you going to launch the crisis without the banking guild?  Short answer:  YOU CAN'T.

So why are we wasting time attacking greedy capitalists, when the problem is a corporatist economic model and usury?  And now, go back and add in the CRA, etc.... with the banking guild and you have the perfect storm.

edit:
Quote: that capitalism does not protect society's weakest members.
  But Greek's socialist model is just peachy?  Or Argentina's fascist system?  What is the unemployment for youth in socialist Spain?
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#28
(01-02-2013, 11:16 AM)FleetingShadow Wrote: At the risk of getting myself shot.....

Can we PLEASE stop conflating capitalism with the idea of that mythical thing, the 'free market'?

Capitalism does not mean decentralised planning. Socialism does not mean centralised planning. Most advanced capitalist economies experience highly centralised decision-making. I'm not even talking about government 'interference'. I'm talking about the economic planning carried out by corporate elites. This isn't merely because the government facilitates it. It's because 'free markets' have inherently oligopolistic tendencies. The idealised Free Market (Hallowed be its Name) - in which perfect competition exists - self-destructs very quickly. A society in which economic power is in the hands of a tiny corporate elite is not necessarily more 'free' than one in which economic power in shared between corporate managers and democratically accountable institutions. Moreover, there is nothing in, say, US or Japanese models of government support for business that is contrary to the integrity of capitalism.

Capitalism refers to a specific mode of production - namely, one in which the surplus value extracted from an enterprise is legally the property of the capital provider. The opposite to capitalism is not 'central planning' - but democratic worker ownership and management. This, properly speaking, is what socialism means, notwithstanding the abuse of the word by Leninists and capitalists alike.

Your notion that free markets have inherently oligopolistic tendencies is fundamentally flawed. Competitive forces ensure decentralization in Capitalism, whereas the lack of a price mechanism in Socialism necessarily leads to central planning.  Monopolies and Oligopolies that fix prices higher than they should be can only exist through  coercive government regulation.

The only way a business can become big in a Capitalist system is by offering a superior product at superior prices, and that's a good thing.  The problem today is that businesses become big through government regulations, which leads to an irrational allocation of goods. 
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#29
(01-02-2013, 06:25 PM)PeterII Wrote:
(01-02-2013, 11:16 AM)FleetingShadow Wrote: At the risk of getting myself shot.....

Can we PLEASE stop conflating capitalism with the idea of that mythical thing, the 'free market'?

Capitalism does not mean decentralised planning. Socialism does not mean centralised planning. Most advanced capitalist economies experience highly centralised decision-making. I'm not even talking about government 'interference'. I'm talking about the economic planning carried out by corporate elites. This isn't merely because the government facilitates it. It's because 'free markets' have inherently oligopolistic tendencies. The idealised Free Market (Hallowed be its Name) - in which perfect competition exists - self-destructs very quickly. A society in which economic power is in the hands of a tiny corporate elite is not necessarily more 'free' than one in which economic power in shared between corporate managers and democratically accountable institutions. Moreover, there is nothing in, say, US or Japanese models of government support for business that is contrary to the integrity of capitalism.

Capitalism refers to a specific mode of production - namely, one in which the surplus value extracted from an enterprise is legally the property of the capital provider. The opposite to capitalism is not 'central planning' - but democratic worker ownership and management. This, properly speaking, is what socialism means, notwithstanding the abuse of the word by Leninists and capitalists alike.

Your notion that free markets have inherently oligopolistic tendencies is fundamentally flawed. Competitive forces ensure decentralization in Capitalism, whereas the lack of a price mechanism in Socialism necessarily leads to central planning.  Monopolies and Oligopolies that fix prices higher than they should be can only exist through  coercive government regulation.

The only way a business can become big in a Capitalist system is by offering a superior product at superior prices, and that's a good thing.  The problem today is that businesses become big through government regulations, which leads to an irrational allocation of goods. 

You seem to have ignored the end of my post.

It is possible to conceive of any economy in which all commerical enterprises are cooperatives (i.e. a socialist economy) but in which the government does very little to regulate the competition between them and has no anti-trust laws etc.

On the other hand, capitalist economies do not necessarily have to experience much - or any - competition. This may drive you crazy, but many left-wing Marxists disparagingly refer to the system of the old USSR as 'state capitalist'. This is because the capitalist (i.e. capital provider) in every enterprise (in this case, the USSR government) owned the fruit of the labourers in that enterprise. There was no worker ownership or self-management.
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#30
(01-02-2013, 10:48 AM)Pilgrim Wrote:
(01-02-2013, 07:04 AM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: So many of these people will twist the Pope's words to their own use.

That's going to happen no matter what he says, though.  In the end, he might as well take the stance that St. Laurence took:  that the poor are the wealth of the Church.

True, though it's also important to apperciate those wealthy people who do give generously of their time and money -- they keep the Church afloat.
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