Since this is a mostly american forum, I am pretty sure I will get some answers here to some questions which I had since quite some time now.
How can you stand the fact that you only have 2 political parties? It would drive me crazy. Here in germany lobbyism is already a huge problem but you are basically inviting corruption and special interests groups. We have currently 5 parties which had enough votes to get into the "Bundestag" (similar to congress I guess).
George WTF. Bush.
His administration lied and is responsible for the death of countless soldiers and innocent civilians. Instead of fighting terrorism, it just provoked additional hatred towards western civilisation. And the whole war on terror weakened you in a time where china is catching up to you. I mean, I can fully understand Afghanistan, but shouldn't someone stand trial for the lies that led to the disaster called Operation Iraqi Freedom? Or the torture going on in Guantanamo Bay? People being held without a fair trial? (there was even an incident where a german has been captured by the CIA IN GERMANY and taken there, he had to be released because he had been proven to be innocent and because of political intervention)
That shit would drive me nuts if my government would have been responsible.
Occupy Wall Street. These great people finally came together to protest against the grotesque situation that one percent of the population holds 40% of all wealth in the United States. And against lobbyism. And against corporate-funded political races. And against many other things that are so extremely F* up in your country and elsewhere (we have similar problems). The very fact that the media and local authority is actively fighting them and different local administrations are organizing against them should make you all the more want to join or at least support them, shouldn't it? Just hearing about this movement has given me more hope that your country does have a future.
Well, other questions will come but I don't want to pack too much into one topic. I would just like to hear your thoughts on these things.
Parau I will be watching the responses to your questions with great interest. I will be especially amused to see your response to Sassan's comments when he responds. I am from the Netherlands and find the USA just as baffling as you.
Your question 2: I think you made a mistake in one sentence above. Several German citizens (Khaled el-Masri, Haydar Zammar, several other have just vanished altogether) have been kidnapped off the streets in Germany, not "captured" by the CIA, I think it is important to be clear with wording. Those released were never charged with any crime, was never tried in a court and was released after four years of imprisonment and torture. It is interesting to note that the same regime of Syria which the US has been so vigorously condemning in recent weeks was the CIAs torture agent of choice - the USA prefer to get others do the more bloody torture techniques, its seems they do not have the guts to do it themselves.
Both Amnesty International (DE) and Truthout.org have these cases well documented.
Articles on the CIA kidnappings within Germany:
Judith vd R
The answer to your 3 questions: Fascism, Imperialism & Capitalism.
Greed rather than capitalism.
Aks, Capitalism cannot exist without greed. Capitalism is based in a society divided by classes, where men explodes men. The greedy man on the top explodes and abuses of the lower class, while the low class praise consumerism. There's no better example than the American society: 38 million people living in poverty, while the 3 big guys from Microsoft together have more money than the amount the government has to fight poverty.
The 200 most rich people in the world have more money than the combined GDP of Germany, Japan, USA and India.
That is how capitalism is generally practiced, but IMO that isn't capitalism.
If you look at google, that company is a perfect example of how capitalism should be practiced - employee satisfaction is paramount. The best talent will go to the best employers & that employer will flourish. When you start to exploit your workers, that satisfaction goes down. Unfortunately I guess there are more exploiters than there are good employers so most people don't have anything they can do about it.
There is nothing wrong with having or making obscene amount of money, but it shouldn't be on the back of exploiting your employees or customers and you should pay taxes equivalent to how much you earn. And I think that's the major problem with the US, the rich don't pay enough in taxes while the poor are squeezed. Like I read somewhere that even servers have to pay taxes even though they receive less than minimum wage & a 10% is automatically counted towards their taxable income. Now that' stupid.
A better way to phrase that would be - A part of capitalism is(IMO) investment in your employees.
Capitalism isn't based on greed, as I don't think you can call the want for better things in life as greed. It's when that want turns excessive & you turn to exploitation - of employees, customers, the law- that's when it becomes a problem.
Let me explain you what is Capitalism. Let's imagine I own a factory. I produce t-shirts. I have enough capital to produce t-shirts for the whole world and sell them in an affordable price and still make a profit. But what do I do instead? I sell them very expensive so only a few can buy them, that lowers production, I hire less employees, and the few I have I over work them.
I could make an affordable product, I could generate employment, I could generate fair employment conditions. But I chose not to. Nobody can tell me what or what not to do. That is why is called PRIVATE PROPERTY.
Is not about me having some good employee and making him the CEO.
And then you leave yourself vulnerable to another company that can & will sell t-shirts at an affordable price. What is to stop your customers from buying your competitors product instead of yours?
The point is: what is Private Property. My point was to illustrate it as an absurd case, not a market strategy. Geez! Tho companies like Apple, Giorgio Armani, Jaguar, etc make their profit in a similar fashion ;)
That is a mix of quality & brand name that drives the price up. Not every company caters to every market.
There are cheaper alternatives to all of those brands & some are of comparable quality, some aren't.
You still don't understand, let me put you a familiar example. Outsourcing. The economy in America is not doing so well, Private companies, in order to save money and "keep the prices low" outsource to India. This causes that thousands of Americans lose their jobs. Why pay an American $12 and hour when you can pay an Indian $1 an hour?. This rises unemployment and devalues life quality. This keep the rich people rich, the poor keep being poor. While Americans become the job providers of any Indian wanting a dollar per hour because your own companies do not pay the same, BUT if it's cheaper to operate in Philippines the company shuts down and move there, and if later is more convenient to move to Costa Rica because is closer then they move there. Who are the ones who benefit out of this? The working class? The ones who get paid 10 times less than the actual worth of their jobs or is it the richs who are on top?
Part of why your country (and most of the 3rd world) has big classes division is that Neocapitalism you guys are using. Your country may be developing but you will be seeing poorness for a very long time. Whatever country that rises with Capitalism will end up just like Americans as you said "greedy".
Give 10 more years to the new Socialist movement that many countries are starting to implement and you will see less poverty.
Capitalism is not about brands, not about having a good employee, and not about Google. Is about what the ones who owns Capital can do to those who do not. How the riches abuse and explode the working class and the environment just to make more money. This makes a world where only 1% controls the rest of the population. Where you are what you own. Where "me NOT you" is the norm instead of "you and me". Where people prostitute themselves and sell themselves just to make the average life. Notice how the countries with the higher standard of living are Socialists, those are countries where there are no social classes (Maybe is hard for you to image if you have never lived in one). Capitalism is a systems that falls down by itself and the only way to keep the economy is by Imperialism. That is why you use the word "greed". Americans don't invade others country because they are greedy by nature but because their system can not sustain itself.
Is a socio political economic system. I invite you to use google maybe do your search in your native language as in english there is not enough information to support the cons of capitalism (I know in spanish and italian there are more search results explaining this subject in a deeper level).
Unless I am mistaken the "law of supply and demand" is still in effect in the U.S.
Look at Wal-Mart - cheap products from China (Asia) sell faster than anything else. People don't want to pay for quality as much as they want low cost.
Myself, I support American made products and am willing to pay a little more. But I am in the minority.