Husseinisdoingfine

Conscious capitalism and third world exploitation?

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Greeting forum.

So, I do have an issue with this notion of conscious capitalism. It seems like everyone involved in second tier thinking supports this system, Said E. Dawlaabani is advocating for this, and even Leo in his Conscious Politics series said that the question is not whether or not we should replace Capitalism, but how do we preserve Capitalism.

I do have an issue with conscious capitalism and social democracy, my issue is that the Scandinavian model only is prosperous because there are Nations south of the equator that are not. Scandinavian Social Democracy's only maintain their prosperity through modern day Imperialism, they are imperialist nations.

My issue is that your utopian conscious capitalism fantasy will only serve to maintain imperialism and third world exploitation.

 

Edited by Husseinisdoingfine

''To be happy we must not be too concerned with others''.

Albert Camus

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Posted (edited)

Lol, I def hear you man. There was a period where I could not go to sleep because I realized that our entire system was run on oppression. 

That said, you need to think of it from the perspective of a peasant in china. In 1980, over 95% of Chinese people were living in absolute poverty. Now, the rate is only 2%. While from our American perspective, there is a lot of suffering and exploitation-- and there is truth to that, relative to being a peasant and making $1 per day slaving for hours and hours, working in a sweatshop actually a massive improvement.

I forgot where I read this, but there was a protest against a us company that ran sweatshops in china. There was a lot of protests against them and due to pressure, they closed them down. The factory workers who lost their job were actually upset about this. While they were no longer working in a sweatshop, going back to being a peasant was actually significantly worse for them and their family's security. 

Now as china is industrializing and has a more educated and developed society, we see them begin to outsource cheap labor from Africa, which will then begin to do awesome things to improve their lives in the big picture. Of course, with automation and globalization, cheap and repetitive tasks will be a thing of the past and exploitation to some extent will no longer be necessary. We will soon have enough wealth to make sure that everyone on earth will have housing security, healthcare security, food security, high-quality education, etc. Right now, we are in a transitionary phase. Hard to swallow, but it is what it is. I suggest making peace with it. 

Edited by louhad

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@louhadThank you for your terrific response, but it's not just sweatshops, it's also unequal exchange and value transference

I do challenge any supporters of Capitalism to answer me, how do you intend to deal with the issue of value transference?

Also, poverty in the third world only shows decrease as the numbers are actually monkeyed around with to show a decrease in poverty, the fact is that the amount of people living on less than $2 a day is only increasing.


''To be happy we must not be too concerned with others''.

Albert Camus

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You can still have some form of capitalism without 3rd world exploitation. Your profits will just be lower. Big deal.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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5 minutes ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

@louhadThank you for your terrific response, but it's not just sweatshops, it's also unequal exchange and value transference

I do challenge any supporters of Capitalism to answer me, how do you intend to deal with the issue of value transference?

Also, poverty in the third world only shows decrease as the numbers are actually monkeyed around with to show a decrease in poverty, the fact is that the amount of people living on less than $2 a day is only increasing.

For now, I think that it is better to focus on incrementally improving our healthcare, infrastructure, education systems, social programs, etc-- the efficiency of our own government to get people the resources they need to reach higher levels of psychological development and security. I think a good way to intelligently begin to tax and regulate capital owners and redistribute it towards the programs mentioned above. 

Also, yeah, in bulk numbers it is increasing, but in terms of percentage, it is decreasing. Africa is projected to materially improve similarly to the way china has in the next 50 years. 

I highly suggest picking up factfulness by rosling. It helped put things into perspective for me at least

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@Husseinisdoingfine

I share your leftist critique that "developed countries" essentially are the way they are largely due to exploitation of "undeveloped" countries. It's a structural issue that needs to be addressed.

We also need to go beyond traditional debates of "socialism" and "capitalism".

For instance, the ideology of economic growth and efficiency is not strictly an issue of capitalism. But it is one of the biggest problems we face today.


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

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I would caution you guys to question and think more deeply about this leftist talking point that 1st world nations are the way they are due to exploitation of underdeveloped nations.

There is some truth in that, but it's far too simplistic a take. The reality is much more complex. Although exploitation happens I would not say it is the primary factor. 3rd world countries have many of their own internal problems -- which, of course, 1st world countries happily take advantage of.

It's something akin to seeing an old man on the street suffering a heart attack, walking up to him, dialing 911 for him, stealing the money from his wallet, and walking away whistling to yourself.

Was it right to steal the money from his wallet? No. But at the same time, you did not cause his heart attack and you did help save his life by calling 911.

The situation with capitalism is very morally complex and murky. That's the nature of capitalist exploitation. It's not black and white. It's mixed, messy, and subtle. Which is why it's so hard to fix. No one knows how to fix it. Socialists think they know how to fix it but they are fooling themselves. At the same time capitalists think there is nothing to fix, and they are also fooling themselves. And here I am stuck in the middle with you ;)


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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27 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

There is some truth in that, but it's far too simplistic a take. The reality is much more complex. Although exploitation happens I would not say it is the primary factor. 3rd world countries have many of their own internal problems -- which, of course, 1st world countries happily take advantage of.

I see it as a bit of a downward loop.

If you're a 3rd world country being crushed by debt because of a shady deal with the IMF, then of course that's going to lead to internal problems. That country might start seeing civil unrest, a breakdown in democracy, etc. Which then leads to further opportunities for exploitation.

33 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

The situation with capitalism is very morally complex and murky. That's the nature of capitalist exploitation. It's not black and white. It's mixed, messy, and subtle. Which is why it's so hard to fix. No one knows how to fix it. Socialists think they know how to fix it but they are fooling themselves. At the same time capitalists think there is nothing to fix, and they are also fooling themselves. And here I am stuck in the middle with you

I would agree. What are the actual structural problems inherent to capitalism that lead to exploitation? It's not an easy question.

However I wouldn't say it's a total unknown. Economic scholars have been looking at this for many years, and there's definitely quite a bit of consensus among many of them.

For instance, many degrowth economists point to the fact that money is created by private commercial banks with interest as one of those key structural problems. Another could be the employer / employee relationship and a lack of democracy in businesses.

That doesn't necessarily lead us to a solution, but the problem is not a total mystery. 


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

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41 minutes ago, aurum said:

but the problem is not a total mystery.

Of course some solutions are totally obvious. For example, giant multi-national corporations can simply stop using sweatshop labor. It would eat into their profits, but most of them are so profitable they can easily afford it. They just don't want to do it.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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17 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Of course some solutions are totally obvious. For example, giant multi-national corporations can simply stop using sweatshop labor. It would eat into their profits, but most of them are so profitable they can easily afford it. They just don't want to do it.

But the present system prizes competition. If some companies have lower costs than others, they will make more profit or have lower prices, and eventually swallow up the others. Dog eat dog, that's why our factories moved to the far east. At the moment most people can't afford ethically sourced goods, can't afford the long term view. I suggest what you're asking for needs strong government regulation, backed up with popular support. 


"The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not." ~ Albert Schweitzer

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25 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Of course some solutions are totally obvious. For example, giant multi-national corporations can simply stop using sweatshop labor. It would eat into their profits, but most of them are so profitable they can easily afford it. They just don't want to do it.

I see it as more of a Game Theory problem.

Corporations are stuck in a Win/Lose, race to the cliff scenario where non-cooperative gaming dynamics leads to them pursuing local maximums that lead to global minimums.

It's the same dynamic in an arms race. Maybe we don't want to do it, but we have to because the other guy might do it.

In other words, you better exploit sweatshop labor. Otherwise your competitor will and then will use the extra profits they make to out compete you.

Corporations that do exploit labor win the game, corporations that don't lose.

From a systems theory perspective, it's totally unsustainable. The incentives have to be realigned to create cooperative, Win/Win game theory scenarios.


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

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Posted (edited)

Could argue that drafters should make the same amount of money as engineers if they are putting in the same amount of hours and same effort.

However, the drafter's work may require less thinking, less planning, less risk, and less systematic understanding than the engineers.  Therefore, even though both skills are valuable, the engineer's contributions may be considered more valuable.

There will always be a lopsidedness where one thing produces more value than the other.

The trick of the governments will be to understand this as well as prevent the gap from one being too high in comparison to another - understand that the things that produce less or no value at all still need to have adequate support systems and not have those at the high end with too much power (wealth caps).  Could have the wealthier countries help support the lower developed countries get their infrastructure (and other things) improved to lessen the gap from one country to another. 

It is tricky though because what one country thinks as essential infrastructure, another may not - groups will tend to have different values and opinions on what is the most helpful - in that regard - would one not let their country get involved and let the country decide for itself how to develop - but then what if that is not "good enough" and there are "too many people" getting killed, starving, etc.  Would be a back and forth of trial and error and seeing what works/what does not and even that would be subjective.

Edited by PepperBlossoms

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27 minutes ago, aurum said:

For instance, many degrowth economists point to the fact that money is created by private commercial banks with interest as one of those key structural problems. Another could be the employer / employee relationship and a lack of democracy in businesses.

There's also a problem that current form of capitalism can't be sustained in an abundance economy.

We have to fight piracy, because without universal income artists would starve, even though the marginal cost of music sharing is close to zero. 

We have to protect patents of companies so they can bring excessive profits to capitalsts. We don't protect them, because they wouldn't have money for R&D. No, the companies who do their own R&D are spending only like 10% profits generated by their patents back into R&D (it's a number from ass, I don't have data right now, just get an idea). We protect their patents so they can up the prices with their monopoly or oligopoly on the technology/medicine. 

If the companies are to grow they need to have an incentive and at some point the only incentive left is becoming a monopoly. The neoliberal policies effectively trade free markets for growth.

The same mechanism works for Facebook, Amazon, Google, Monsanto-Bayer (yeah, they are a single company now, can you believe it?), etc.

This problem will only get worse in an era of space mining, cheap biotechnology, renewable energy, etc.

If we enforced more anti-trust regulations, blocked exploitation of third-world countries, etc, then capitalism would experience a shock and would start to morph into a more equal sociallistic system.

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41 minutes ago, snowyowl said:

But the present system prizes competition. If some companies have lower costs than others, they will make more profit or have lower prices, and eventually swallow up the others. Dog eat dog, that's why our factories moved to the far east. At the moment most people can't afford ethically sourced goods, can't afford the long term view. I suggest what you're asking for needs strong government regulation, backed up with popular support. 

Yes, that's true. But also many corporations can afford to be more ethical.

I run a small business and even I can afford to not exploit the shit out of others. It just lowers my profits. Certainly companies like Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Amazon, McDonalds, etc can do that and still thrive. It's a matter of greed vs integrity.

When your biz is on the verge of bankruptcy and you exploit workers, I can understand that. It's a matter of life and death for the biz. But when your business is massively successful you need to let go of the idea of maximizing profits at all costs. This will in fact improve your business in the long-term as your brand will have integrity.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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20 minutes ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

@Leo Gura Do you hire employees currently?

No, but I could and I have in the past.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Posted (edited)

58 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

It's a matter of greed vs integrity.

I take your point that it's a complex business landscape out there, eg personal services like Actualized are totally different from some mass production manufacturing which can be outsourced to the cheapest bidder (often hidden from the end customers). 

And the greed vs integrity thing goes wider than just corporations, it also includes shareholders and customers. Ie including me, as I have a pension scheme and buy cheap imported stuff. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones ;)

 

Edit. @aurum hey, I'm glad someone mentioned game theory, I only know some basics like tit for tat, thanks for the explanation!

Edited by snowyowl

"The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not." ~ Albert Schweitzer

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1 hour ago, Girzo said:

There's also a problem that current form of capitalism can't be sustained in an abundance economy.

We have to fight piracy, because without universal income artists would starve, even though the marginal cost of music sharing is close to zero. 

Yes, our current system was built from scarcity consciousness. Scarcity is at the core of it all.

1 hour ago, Girzo said:

If the companies are to grow they need to have an incentive and at some point the only incentive left is becoming a monopoly. The neoliberal policies effectively trade free markets for growth.

It's ironic. People claim that free market competition reduces monopolies, which it fact it creates them.

1 hour ago, Girzo said:

If we enforced more anti-trust regulations, blocked exploitation of third-world countries, etc, then capitalism would experience a shock and would start to morph into a more equal sociallistic system.

My only qualm with anti-trust regulation is whether that systemically goes deep enough.

In other words, instead of just passing anti-trust regulation, which will be fought, what about removing the systemic incentives for monopolies?

10 minutes ago, snowyowl said:

Edit. @aurum hey, I'm glad someone mentioned game theory, I only know some basics like tit for tat, thanks for the explanation!

You're welcome, glad someone else knew what that was xD.

You might like Daniel Schmachtenberger then:

https://civilizationemerging.com/new-economics-series-2/

 


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

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15 minutes ago, aurum said:

In other words, instead of just passing anti-trust regulation, which will be fought, what about removing the systemic incentives for monopolies?

One could say that removing systemic incentives for monopolies is an effective anti-trust regulation. :P

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2 hours ago, snowyowl said:

eg personal services like Actualized are totally different from some mass production manufacturing which can be outsourced to the cheapest bidder

I can also outsource stuff and cut every corner.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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