Capitalism and the Bill of Rights

Ivan Shatov

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Alright Kiwis, who's read Adam Smith?

Not going to quote chapter and verse, but, as I understand it, Capitalism was instituted as a response to the concentrated power of feudal aristocratic systems. A bunch of land owners / merchants desired more political power, they took it from various Monarchs, and this resulted in the Capital and Labor classes we know today. Capital is there to manage money / take risks, while Labor is there for the defense of Capital. Labor benefits from the distribution of goods and services within society, while Capital benefits from profits made through economic activity.

For that system to work, a couple things must be true:

1) Capital must be able to profit. Without sufficient protection and reciprocity, economic activity cannot occur.

2) Labor must be able to thrive. When wages dip too close to the cost of living, discontent ensues and economic norms must be renegotiated.

In the US, we have a Constitution with enumerated right that apply equally to both classes. Freedom of Speech is one of them, anyone is free to say whatever is on their mind.

Sort of. Speech comes with a cost, you're not likely to say anything that's on your mind if you can't afford the consequences. You could be the biggest racist in the world, but you are going to think twice about saying something if you know it's going to cost you your job. Same goes with religion. You are not going to count rosary beads at your desk at work if it means not getting that next promotion.

The Constitution guarantees certain rights, and the Government is supposed to be there to ensure they are enforced. There are a lot of examples where people are trying to change that, or at least interpret those rights differently than they have been historically.

Here's the question: how much do your rights mean when you don't have the money to use them? Except for the last few years, there hasn't been a real growth in wages in the US since the 1990s. Offshoring and automation have been eating up our jobs and undermining the very concept of earning wealth by selling your labor. How much do our rights depend on having a strong Capitalist system in place? Could the Bill of Rights theoretically and meaningfully be implemented in a communal society? Is your religion more important than a piece of bread? How would 8 months in isolation affect your answer?

I get the sense society is at a turning point, a lot of people have come to accept globalism as the new norm. In response, some of them have decided to implement Communism, others have decided it's time to roll back relationships with the rest of the world and focus on ourselves for a while. I'm of the opinion a new politics is necessary, one that bridges the gap between these two economic systems, but I really doubt anyone in power today has the vision or will to get it implemented. Suffering will ensue until someone decides to force the issue and a lot of people will be unhappy with the outcome.
 

Lemmingwise

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Why does that gap need to be bridged when they can haul you to the US like Assange, or kill you like seth rich or andrew breitbart or jeffrey epstein.

Or just cancel your youtube and all creditcards and ban you from UK and australia.

Why does that gap needs to be bridged when they can just press their velvet jackboot a little harder into your neck?


Jesus, when did I become so blackpilled about politics? Oh yeah, when I started investigating what seemed like the most credible conspiracies.

The rights that they're focused on is your right to be a tranny and a tranny's right to enjoy special protected status. Because when it really comes down to it, you only have the rights that they allow you to have and those that you can protect at the barrel of a gun. Not very adam smith, I suppose.
 
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MaoBigDong

你妈妈很胖
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Due to this being about the bill of rights I’m going to operate under the assumption this is a US centric argument. The US as a whole is deeply nationalistic, conflating any idea that isn’t the norm e.g communism/socialism/in some cases democratic socialism with being inherently bad. For a system that bridges the gap between workers rights and corporate profits to work we would need to get rid of our preconceived notions about communism that started with McCarthyism. Red scare tactics are still quite common today. For example the “russian bots” tactic used by the moderate left REEKS of Anti USSR sentiment, when in actuality Russia is predominantly capitalist today. This misinformation isn’t just on the moderate left, we all know the right wing is largely in favor of corporate profits, whether that’s through bribery or personal stake in a company (Bush being involved with raytheon, etc).

I would argue that if you laid the foundation for many communist arguments without strictly mentioning communism most people would agree that workers should have the right to live comfortably, and without fear that their personal beliefs could potentially get them into trouble with authority figures such as their bosses. This is where I believe unions could potentially make a HUGE comeback in the next few decades if people would stop and think about who really doesn’t want workers to organize for their rights. If you start small with something like that I think the bridge could be more attainable, but again, it’s all about people beginning to think for themselves.

Corporate money has too much influence over worker’s rights, and the more money that the rich hoard the more the bill of rights gets stifled. You can beat us over the heads and tell us that it’s constitutional for corporations to have a voice, but when that voice isn’t equal to the voice of the people they’re employing due to them having an insane amount of media influence, is that really in the best interest of “We the People”?
 

Lemmingwise

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I would argue that if you laid the foundation for many communist arguments without strictly mentioning communism most people would agree that workers should have the right to live comfortably, and without fear that their personal beliefs could potentially get them into trouble with authority figures such as their bosses

This is true for nearly any subject. It's why a jordan peterson got paid to rewrite a UN plan to remove, in his words, "the ideological claptrap". It's the same plan just without the buzzwords.

I did the same in my late teens working telemarketing. Generally the stuff you were selling was most commonly being sold by phone so people had heard it before multiple times. I figured out at aome point that it was easier to sell whatever I was selling, by never mentioning by name what I was selling.

Strangely my numbers skyrocketed (as dod my earnings).

One call remains very memorable. I talked to the guy for 30 minutes. He chose to receive the financial advisor, eventually. But I had forgotten to ask (and fill out ) one of the basic check questions and my boss told me to call him again.

I made my mistake and used the magic word. "I'm calling you back about your pension"
and if I had any doubts whether my method was effective for other reasons than avoiding magic words, his response permanently dispelled that notion from my mind.

He responded like a comical cartoon, shouting like an angry elmer fudd "PENSION!?!!!?"

I thought for sure I lost him, but after another 30 minutes I had assauged all his fears and he was ready to talk about what was pension related, but not really about pensions.

I also think that some of the basic arguments for even competing and completely incompatible views are very reasonable and agreeable to the average person when presented independantly.
 
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אΩ+1

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There does exist an alternative a third way, christian democratic way.
531AdenauerTimeCover230pxw.jpg
 

Freya

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magatards are ok with being violated as long as the entity doing it is big business. I've even seen some praise CEOs for stealing taxpayer money.

society starts falling apart when the average person is working constantly yet still barely able to afford basic things. that is definitely an affront to liberty. and for what?
 

Harvey Danger

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Capitalism isn't a system that got set up by design. It's the natural state of things once you have sufficient physical security and a sufficiently large open market. (Complex capitalism further requires a way to enforce contracts.)

The US Constitution doesn't actually guarantee or protect capitalism, it protects private property. It's not even supposed to protect your speech from anyone except Congress. Many cities and states infringed on residents' speech (and other rights), before the courts pulled the incorporation doctrine out of their ass because they didn't feel like waiting for the legislature to do things properly.

The Constitution guarantees certain rights, and the Government is supposed to be there to ensure they are enforced.

Not quite. Mostly it guarantees certain rights against the government itself. Sometimes a branch is in charge of protecting you from the other branches, who in turn protect you from the first branch. You're supposed to fix the private infringements yourself, with the help of lower-level governments like states, or even just your local community.

What you're describing is something closer to the European conception of rights, post-French Revolution.

There are a lot of examples where people are trying to change that, or at least interpret those rights differently than they have been historically.

Historically, the American version of rights is contrary to what you seem to be talking about.

how much do your rights mean when you don't have the money to use them?... How much do our rights depend on having a strong Capitalist system in place?

They don't depend on money or capitalism. Society itself does.

The things you're worried about are the normal tensions that crop up in society when the masses start to feel oppressed or held down, regardless of the political economy they live in. This problem crops up at every point in history, from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire, from the original Tea Party to the French Revolution, from Gandhi to the Bolsheviks to the Iranian Revolution.

Try a slightly different question: assume Communism is supposed to guarantee work and equality to every comrade. How much do those rights mean when you have to stand in line to buy bread? Does the answer change if money is abolished and you aren't "buying" bread, you're standing in line for "free" bread rations distributed by the central committee?

The truth is, living standards have nothing to do with an ideology of rights--we had breadlines in the USA during the Great Depression, too. When people are fed up with a system, they overthrow it, or support someone who radically reforms it. FDR reformed the USA with federalism-killing legislation, and the Bolsheviks killed the czars. The respective ideologies were just providing rationalizations for widespread frustration.

Capitalism's big benefit is that it constantly improves productivity, which generates wealth, both of which keep a standard of living floating way longer than anything else humanity has tried. Marx said it'll blow up in the end, but that's about as prescient as pointing to a perfectly built house and saying it will fall some day. Everything falls, eventually.

Could the Bill of Rights theoretically and meaningfully be implemented in a communal society?

Of course not. The Bill of Rights protects individual rights, and a communal society only works by breaking down the individual and protecting the aggregate society. You could have some form of human rights in a communal society, but they would be very limited and look radically different from anything the USA and Europe developed for their open, liberal societies.

Communal societies work better when stark survival is the primary concern of the people. Once you get past starvation and your life is improved beyond your bare physical needs, the other stuff becomes more important, and the communal spirit starts to weaken.

I get the sense society is at a turning point, a lot of people have come to accept globalism as the new norm. In response, some of them have decided to implement Communism, others have decided it's time to roll back relationships with the rest of the world and focus on ourselves for a while.

Yes, we seem close to a Fourth Turning, as we have been before. Globalism also comes and goes in waves. But this is the classic problem of socialist and Communist theory: great at detecting problems, terrible at suggesting solutions for them.

Marx was at his best when he was diagnosing problems in society, such as describing the alienation of the worker from his work in a factory. Granted, he was just expanding on the same problem Adam Smith previously described in Wealth of Nations. The difference was sentiment: Smith worried this effect would make men unfit for democracy, while Marx thought science, calculation, and the human spirit were enough to overcome all shortcomings... including their own shortcomings which were the very foundation of economics.

If you're looking for answers between the two systems they championed, it's best not to go with the one that denies the nature of reality.

I'll skip an even longer analysis and end with a lightning round.

  • We don't have pure capitalism now.
  • You can "tone down" capitalism with socialist aspects, to mollify the masses.
  • The above has already happened, more in EU than in USA,
  • Socialism requires a stronger, more controlling government.
  • Stronger government infringes on your rights.
  • Infringing on your rights leads to discontent and/or tyranny.

TL;DR Trying to "split the difference" between two extremes is a natural thing to explore, but the existing system is already a middle solution. The things you see as problems are tradeoffs made in the past to fix other, known problems. Re-doing the system just re-starts those invisible problems again.

Edit: wow I wrote a freaking book here, why did no one stop me? Added spoilers to break up an autistically long post.
 
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Lemmingwise

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. It's the natural state of things once you have sufficient physical security and a sufficiently large open market.

Japan had sufficient physical security and markets, but it required a US military fleet to move them towards internationally open market and it took nukes and capitulation to move them towards capitalism. Why blind oneself to the forces that demand an open market?

And to some degree open markets is a giant feature of capitalism, so it's kinda like saying that socialism is the natural state of things once you have sufficient worker protection. Like, no shit, that's kinda what it is.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

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I don't really see the connection between capitalism and the bill of rights. One is an economic system, the other is a political tool.

The main reason for growing inequality is globalism, because it makes transportation of goods so cheap that there is no reason to make jobs in countries with work protection laws. It also allows companies to reach insane growth that makes them untouchable. Capitalism is a system that the alternative to it is a minority ruling the majority.

As for protection from the bill of rights, the right for free speech is bypassed by a coordinated effort to label political speech as hate speech.
 

MaoBigDong

你妈妈很胖
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society starts falling apart when the average person is working constantly yet still barely able to afford basic things. that is definitely an affront to liberty. and for what?
Great point, I’d like to tack onto this that if you don’t have money to spend in a capitalist society that shit don’t work! This is why we’re seeing small businesses be choked out today, nobody can afford to spend what precious money they have on their local economies, and outsourcing is getting exponentially worse because China makes cheap shit. If we can’t support ourselves or our communities how are we going to keep from drowning? Our voices are already being stifled by libcorp media, and our purchasing power is abysmal, for what? So libtards like Bezos who are bent on world domination can do whatever the fuck they want?

This isn’t a partisan issue, either. We’re entering an almost dystopian era where capitalism, as it was initially intended to be, has largely been abandoned and replaced by this aggressive, almost oligarchical hyper-capitalism that’s only going to get worse with outsourcing and automation. Automation is supposed to be making our lives easier so that we can live in sweet capitalist heaven where I can buy 20 mcchickens and a glock at the same time if I want to, what gives? Now I’m worried that my job is going to be automated away and I won’t have any power to live as I see fit. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, my ass. At this point it’s more like I’m slaving away for pennies on the dollar until my job gets automated (for others perhaps outsourced) away, and I’ll die with the hope that maybe someday I could have had those things.

A lot of people can sense that something’s not quite right here, and I think even most die hard republicans can see this. America may be seeing economic growth right now but damn if it isn’t at the cost of middle class liveliness. You can bet your ass by all my bitching and moaning that I’m not seeing it.
 

Y2K Baby

The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom???
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Due to this being about the bill of rights I’m going to operate under the assumption this is a US centric argument. The US as a whole is deeply nationalistic, conflating any idea that isn’t the norm e.g communism/socialism/in some cases democratic socialism with being inherently bad. For a system that bridges the gap between workers rights and corporate profits to work we would need to get rid of our preconceived notions about communism that started with McCarthyism. Red scare tactics are still quite common today. For example the “russian bots” tactic used by the moderate left REEKS of Anti USSR sentiment, when in actuality Russia is predominantly capitalist today. This misinformation isn’t just on the moderate left, we all know the right wing is largely in favor of corporate profits, whether that’s through bribery or personal stake in a company (Bush being involved with raytheon, etc).

I would argue that if you laid the foundation for many communist arguments without strictly mentioning communism most people would agree that workers should have the right to live comfortably, and without fear that their personal beliefs could potentially get them into trouble with authority figures such as their bosses. This is where I believe unions could potentially make a HUGE comeback in the next few decades if people would stop and think about who really doesn’t want workers to organize for their rights. If you start small with something like that I think the bridge could be more attainable, but again, it’s all about people beginning to think for themselves.

Corporate money has too much influence over worker’s rights, and the more money that the rich hoard the more the bill of rights gets stifled. You can beat us over the heads and tell us that it’s constitutional for corporations to have a voice, but when that voice isn’t equal to the voice of the people they’re employing due to them having an insane amount of media influence, is that really in the best interest of “We the People”?
OK, pinko scum.
 

Lemmingwise

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We’re entering an almost dystopian era where capitalism, as it was initially intended to be, has largely been abandoned and replaced by this aggressive, almost oligarchical hyper-capitalism that’s only going to get worse with outsourcing and automation
How do you know it differs from what it was intended to be?