I am under the impression that a time will come when the human species shall no longer rule this planet, be it from us following the ways of the dinosaurs or the forces of nature becoming overwhelming for our existance.

Now between now and then is there an ideal system that may ensure that the resources are distributed equally, knowledge is dispersed indiscriminately , human life( and animals and fauna, for that matter) span is prolonged (not only for those who are in countries that are more scientifically progressed). What are your take on capitalism, has it failed or has it been abused? Do humans have a better system? Or is this the beginning of the end of the great Homo Sapiens? Should we just embrace what we have and enjoy this life knowing that in a few generations after us there shall be no human life in this planet?

To those who are in the field of science: Is there any hope of human survival even after some great nature disasters that are emminent in the future?

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The glaring problem with capatilism is one of exponential growth. Capatilism requires growth to function, when we don't have growth capatilism breaks down. The problem is you can't have exponential  growth on a finite planet for very long.

It is now coming to the time when our growth is no longer sustainable. We are begining to run into limits across the board, and the longer we insist on the maxim that 'growth is good' the faster we destroy the very environment that supports us.

“Anyone who believes in infinite economic growth on a finite planet is either a madman, or an economist”


@Rocky 99% agree. "Exponential", while it literally means "any change in value relative to a proportion of the existing value", is more likely to imply very rapid growth. However once the system has effectively used up the planets resources, ANY growth, no matter how small, is unsustainable.

Other than that, +1

As it has been and is:

America is an oligarchy, and at regular intervals we the people go to the polls to choose our oligarchs.

Our oligarchs have seen to it that taxpayers' money bails out agribusinesses, banks, corporations, and sports empires.

Don't we have to conclude that socialism works well for the 1%?

The 99% get competitive free enterprise.

As it could be:

Democracy, both political (including a national initiative and referendum) and economic (including employee ownership of their workplaces).

Democracy doesn't guarantee good leaders; it guarantees only that we can change leaders without assassination.

"go to the polls to choose our oligarchs"

Well, no, they wouldn't be oligarchs if they were elected. The problem is that, in America, elected officials have very little power. Corporations WRITE whatever laws they need enacted. They present these laws to the elected officials which they have, in effect, appointed (through campaign donations). The official then passes on the laws (probably without ever actually reading them) to their legislative body for ratification. If necessary they send selected justices on world tours to ensure that their laws STAY laws.

"guarantee good leaders"

Again, I have a bit of a problem regarding people like Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman (and,of course, "W") as being capable of leading anything. They clearly take orders from those who DO actually know what's going on - the true "leaders" of America - the Koch Brothers and their ilk.

...they wouldn't be oligarchs if they were elected.

Mike, whose dictionary says that?

Pretty much ALL of them. "Oligarchy" means rule by a FEW. "Elected oligarchy" is an oxymoron.

I don't know, maybe you want to contend that you have an oligarchy if you had only 12 people in your society and these few got together and elected their leader.


I think it depends on what organizing principle is in place that would ultimately determine what form of social organization would be ideal. With capitalism, scarcity is the organizing principle, and our historical experience seems to have taught us (so far) that a large parameter of personal freedom (i.e. property rights), qualified to a degree by the equality principle (Rawlsian political philosophy) is the best framework from which to approach an answer to that question.

Of course, as our scientific knowledge has advanced, this has required that we introduce further parameters into this equation as our understanding of our inter-dependence with the environment increases, and this is to be expected.

I think in general, it can be shown that any of the above, when pursued to an extreme and exclusionary degree, can lead to a dangerous normative vision of the world and therefore a pragmatic attitude is important.  

There is no one fix all solution to our problems. Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc. are all just tools that excel in certain circumstances, and fail miserably in others. In America, we have tried pure Capitalism, and while it has made us extremely wealthy, we have pitiful education and healthcare. The Soviet Union cannot be looked upon as an accurate representation of pure Socialism as the deplorable acts of Trotsky and Stalin tainted the pool, so to speak. Norway is a good example of Socialism. They're not particularly wealthy, but they have one of the highest standards of living, excellent healthcare and education, and they protect their environment with a ferocity that is reminiscent of their Norse ancestors. Communist China is a wonderful example of military might, but their individual standard of living is pretty weak. So for Economic methods of ruling, it goes to show that a well regulated and managed mix of Capitalism, Socialism, an Communism would be ideal. Capitalism ruling over matters of success and play, i.e. big houses and fast cars, Socialism ruling over matters of life, i.e. doctors and teachers, and Communism ruling over matters of security. I've ruled out Fascism as that is really just Capitalism run amok, letting private corporations rule entirely over the people.

As for forms of Government, there are really only two methods of any merit, though the second one can be further divided into two. Democracy, and Monarchy. there are Religious Monarchs, and Non-religious Monarchs. Stalin was a Non-Religious Monarch, and I'm sure everyone knows how that turned out. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Current Royal Family of England, though technically Religious Monarchs, are part of a democratic system thanks to Parliament, holding roughly the same powers as the President of the United States. The main difference between the two is that the position of the RF is hereditary, and the position of the POTUS is not. To get an accurate, and not totally ancient version of the Religious Monarch, we can turn to the Dali Lama. Despite what his PR department tells the world about him, before he was deposed of his throne in Tibet, he was the head of a religious government that taxed the people to starvation, and punished non belief and non conformers very severely.

Democracy is not without it's faults, as it does tend to be easily corrupted by outside organizations, but it does have the benefit of answering, for the most part, directly to the people, and thus being relegated back to a service, rather than a ruler. The current US Government has a few flaws. Certain high positions in the government are not regulated as harshly as others. The position of President is only allowed a maximum of two terms, but there are no term limits applied to Congressmen. As long as you keep winning elections, then you keep being a congressman. This does mean that you do have to keep on the good side of the people, but it also means that after a while, the position stops being a duty, and starts being a job, where the money is the ends rather than means.

The Supreme Court on the other hand has a life time term, which means that they do not have to answer to the people at all, and can interpret the laws however they like. I believe that setting Supreme Court Justices a term of eight years, and a term limit of two, as well as a two term limit for congressmen would help to alleviate many of the problems that America faces. Government should be something one is called to do, rather than a career one acquires to make a living. Also, making it illegal to give monetary contributions of any size to any politician, and instead providing a standardized platform from which to run for office, would even the playing field quite nicely.

So coming back from this tangent, It is my conclusion that a Democratically lead government, following an economic policy that is a combination of Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism, in which all three are kept strictly bound to the industries that benefit most from them, and away from the ones that do not, would be the best way in which to run the world. Religion cannot play a part in any phase of this government, as Religion can always be counted on to discriminate against certain people, and will usually not punish corrupt leaders in its ranks. Democracy is answerable to the people that it leads, and in this way is self policing. As long as the education and health of the masses is always maintained and advanced, then Democracy will thrive.

P.S. I've ruled out Anarchy because once you analyze it, it's really just disorganized Democracy. There has to be rules, laws, and codes of conduct, and they cannot discriminate against people. They also cannot be written in stone. The law has to be flexible and living, so that it can evolve and change over time, to suit the changing Zeitgeist. It can't be too flexible, otherwise it will be easily uprooted and replaced, but it can't be to rigid either, because it would then be toppled over and replaced.

Nice summary. I still don't understand why you think capitalism is necessary. 

In America, we have tried pure Capitalism,

Disagree. We're going that way, but thankfully we haven't got there yet. Capitalism means free enterprise. Socialism means regulated enterprise. Can't have it both ways.

The myths of capitalism persist - the "market" will amputate companies that are not good for the people because the people will set up competition and prevail. If we let entrepreneurs loose to make as much money as they can, we'll ALL get rich. These myths continue to be propagated by the oligarchy who want NO regulation. And spending hundreds of millions to influence the under-informed electorate is just pocket change for them.

I hasten to add that these are not bad people. The system demands this. Picture this: a CEO presents two options to the board - one will produce a 20% ROI but means the community will lose thousands of jobs and the environment will be polluted (up to the very limit of the existing regulations - and a subcommittee will be formed to get the regs relaxed). The other option will produce an 8% ROI but would enhance the community. The Board represents investors. If the CEO decides to implement option 2, he'd be fired before he reached the boardroom door. It's not the people - it's the SYSTEM that is inherently corrupt. In pure capitalism money makes ALL decisions. The People have NO say. They are not even entitled to read the minutes of the meeting.

Disagree. We're going that way, but thankfully we haven't got there yet.

No, we're already there. For the past forty years, ever since the Nixon administration, Corporations have only had to pass a few dollars to politicians to get their way. It's a workaround to in effect establish a system of Fascism, or to put it the way I said previously, pure Capitalism.

The only part of capitalism that is of any importance is it's primary feature. The profit motive is what drives the entire system, the urge to do better, to succeed. Granted, that's the most dangerous part of it, but it is necessary to a success. I'm not focusing on the myths, or the, for lack of a better term, religion of Capitalism, but rather the structure of it. If it were used to govern the face of everyday life, the parts that we experience every day, then we should see a good motivation for people to try to strive for a better life. Socialism is very good at maintaining a status quo, but it struggles to progress upward. So it makes sense to base our safety net on socialism. If you get sick, you go to the hospital. If you lose your job, your home, or even your car, you make an appeal and you get a very base line, but sufficient replacement from which to begin your climb back up the ladder.

Communism is very good at maintaining control in a militaristic sense, but isn't that great at the home level. It's very effective on military bases where obedience is the difference between life and death, and where a central "Big Brother" figure, or in America's case, "Uncle Sam" is the motive for doing what is needed. This change won't be all that drastic, because that's already the basis for how the military works.

In fact, the American system of government is already very close to what I've stated. I'm not advocating a completely new system, I'm suggesting that we iron out the bugs. An update, or a software patch, to put it in the technical terms. We bolster our safety net, close off healthcare, education, military, essential utilities, and government to capitalist interests, and fix the glaring holes in our political structure.

It is much simpler to simply make a tweak to a system that was originally designed to naturally evolve, than to try and make an entirely new one. That would be like trying to construct the mythical Bowing 747 from the scrap in the junk yard.

"The profit motive is what drives the entire system, the urge to do better, to succeed."


It's nice to succeed. But what is success?  Under capitalism, growth is a systemic requirement. If a society fails to grow under capitalism it fails, totally, as an economic system. People start jumping out of windows on Wall Street.

Now here are some revolutionary thoughts. What if we didn't NEED the latest smart phone every few months. Capitalism tells us we do. Socialism says we don't. Which is better - objectively; setting aside personal wealth as the only meaningful metric?

What if our society and our schools taught us to recognize how much we have. Rather than instilling jealousy, let's value gratitude. What if the status quo was pretty damned good for me and you. What if we changed our priorities and worked to elevate others instead of ourselves and taught others to do the same.

What if we had ENOUGH! I do. THAT is success!! How about you? 

And we have it within our means to ensure that every living person has enough. We've just got to dispose of the poison that is capitalism.




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