This system abuses people and the environment and I wish for it to be destroyed.  It is the largest problem in the world today.  Our world today is more superficial and surface oriented than it has ever been.  People care more about Sanjaya on American Idol than the realities of what occurs in our world.  It is a sad state of affairs but I think it will come to a grinding halt.  Our economy has become to interconnected.  Our systems are not independent so when you lose one thing another suffers and before long you will see collapse.  I wish I had time to be more specific but just wanted to get down some generalities for now.
ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
36 Responses Jun 5, 2007

Thanks Ratburn...Yep, you are right. As they say here in the US, freedom isn't free. Nope, that is true. We workers pay for the freedom of those oppressors while we work our lives away and pay taxes on everything imaginable until we're too old to see and/or enjoy life. People can't get the full amount of their Social Security retirement now until they're 70. They can get it earlier but they won't get nearly as much money. Average age for a man is 72. Man those 2 years after retirement are just gonna be heavenly and oh so free!!

What I cannot stand is how they act like Capitalism is freedom, when your only freedom is to be oppressed or dont work. Yeah, real freedom. But its quite like the righties to lie and make their system look so great, while most suffer through it. They act like Socialism is demonic. Personally, I think there needs to be a middle ground. I like how socialism has common ownership of business, while Capitalism is good for being distributed based on what you deserve, despite the fact that capitalism is not really that fair in pay. But capitalism like all rightists ideas believe in a class system where one person is always above another, and has power over others. They claim that they love freedom, when all in fact they are doing is gving freedom to the most aggressive. Thats like giving a big dog the same freedom to take the runt dogs food. But the big dog has power. Indirectly, they are letting the fat cats steal the common mans freedom.

Yeah I like I said I don't really like that term dictatorship of the proletariat. It is better to use the working class controlling the means of production. I'm sure there's a phrase that is less "jargony" but I don't know it.<br />
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Regarding the vanguard...it is not that members cannot have varied opinions but they must all be on board as the the total control of the economy by the working class. If there is any divergance from this the government ceases to be socialist. I think the vanguard should only be a transitional set of leaders. Someone has to lead when there is a socialist revolution. I do believe in democratic elections once there is relative peace among the populations. I would think at this point that those voted into office would be those who support the working class control. <br />
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You are correct about the issues of private property. We have lived a long time now in the era of private ownership and it's difficult to undo and we have modern technologies and people that culturally like to do things like go "muddin". But people have lived peacefully without having a deed to a property. Communities can exist without these certificates of ownership. It's a piece of paper and money that create an "owner". But many communities already have a concept and respect for property. There are so many ways in which communities have died under capitalism. I saw a show once where a lady was talking about her old neighborhood and how the kids would get together in big groups and play. The parents all knew each other. They all talked about the children and if any child did something bad, even blocks away from his own house, his parents would hear about it. Long story short, in many ways communities policed themselves and many small scale cultures still live this way. Man has ceased to trust his fellow man and thinks that we need police and government cause men are fundamentally out of control. To me it's a systemic issue.

I think collectives are a really great thing too. I've read a little about the original communist folks (people who created communes). Some were successful but many suffered from internal strife, basically politics. People having differences in the way things are run and ultimately this ruined many of the collectives. <br />
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I think the same idea can be applied to forming larger socialist collectives, nations. It's been a problem finding people that are on the same page and having a democratic process amongst themselves. One of the things that's hard for a person that grows up in America to come to grips with is the idea that the original group of leaders would not be democratically elected by the people. And there's a reason for that. To have a true socialist nation requires what they call a vanguard, a group of people who all support the working class coming to control the means of production, basically the economy of the nation. <br />
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Some of the problems in socialist countries have been that some members of the top brass did not want revolution but wanted slow change through the democratic process. Change by having socialists elected into congress, etc. But the result is that these socialists have only a small amount of individual power. Any socialist type legislation that comes through invariably is watered down and concessions are made (a process we are very familiar with here). <br />
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So a true "dictatorship of the proletariat" ( I don't like that phrase but it works) is not capable in what we know as democratic process. It basically involves a group of people who all have the same goal, that truly want the working class in control. No other people with different ideas could be allowed in the group. Decisions amongst them would be democratic, but the very basis of working class control would always have to be upheld.<br />
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I have a friend that thinks that the dictatorship of the elite could last 1000 years. I tend to disagree but at the same time elites have been controlling populations since the earliest formations of city-states. So it's been well over 1000 years already. More like 5000 years! I read about the Sumerians in modern day Iraq and even in their earliest incarnations (as far back as 4000 bc) there were kings in the city-states. People were not as subjugated as today (the citizens) in that they had to pay taxes but they had their own houses, gardening plots, etc. Privatization, especially private ownership of land, has added a whole new element. <br />
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I'm kind of going on a tangent here but recently I remembered some early negative impressions I had regarding property ownership. When I was a young teenager I loved to go snake hunting (not killing but collecting). It was always fun but frustrating cause we would drive and drive looking for places to hunt but everything was fenced off and you had to fear a landowner coming out with their shotgun. There's so much of our world that we do not have access to because it's owned. Taking this to its logical conclusion, we will one day have a world in which nowhere is accessible other than via permission or payment. I think that's a really depressing reality we could (and do) face. <br />
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Long story short I really have my doubts as to whether I'll see anything resembling true socialism in my lifetime. I've spent a lot of time criticizing and studying capitalism but that only goes so far. One criticism of left wingers that's kinda true is that they have many criticisms but few solutions. I've been that way but I truly desire to create ideas for how to bring about socialism. I'm starting and I think if I continue I have hope of coming up with ideas for solutions rather than just talking about socialism, exploitation, etc. Anyway, I've ranted for long enough. I really appreciate our conversations though. You are a really bright fella. I'm not even sure if we're friends yet but we should be!

I can see what you're saying for sure. I am not a believer in Utopia and I don't think that every single worker in America would be on board with a takeover. My above example was only intended to show the strength of the working class (99% of whom are unaware). Sadly, I believe that the only way to have a true revolution in todays world would be via total economic collapse, which would be worldwide in todays global market. People are far too complacent, apathetic, conditioned to believe socialist type ideas are evil, among many other barriers. These barriers would come down when the system they trusted betrayed them. I have recently become more turned off by much of what I'm learning about socialism. I believe that a collective people have the right to their own resources, as in Iraq I believe the people should benefit from the oil, not big oil companies and the Iraqi elite. I believe that people should work towards their own good, and not work their lives away as so many in America and elsewhere. We have the potential to produce the same things that people want today, without such enormous over-production/consumption. My thoughts on these ideas are fluid and changing every day. Especially in the last few months as I've intensified my study in books and in the socialist group. That group, while I learned a lot and found some ideas, ultimately turned me off. I won't go into all the whys and hows but it changed my views of socialism. For one thing those religion hating Marxists out there who want to change the world and find solidarity and agreement with the majority of people need to understand that most people are religious. And despite the connections they may feel as to religion being historically exploitave, there really is very little connection between a socialist revolution and religion. Many religious people want to change the world, and/or have the world changed. It doesn't take an atheist to lead. In fact I find rigid atheists to be as ignorant as religious fundamentalists. They both need to come down to earth and deal with real issues, not imagined ones.

I believe there is a corrupt element in human nature but there is also an altruistic element. The whole idea of humans being fundamentally greedy and warlike is something that is fed to us as propoganda by the capitalist apologists to make us feel that the position we are in is natural and unchangeable. There are many people out there that are ready to create a society in which the people are in control of the means of production and thereby the government. These same people, most groups at least, believe in true civil rights. The rights of all people, ethnicities, sexual/gender orientations, etc. The elites use all of these divisions between people to maintain power. As long as we all fight for civil rights separately they are getting exactly what they want. They no a collective force would bring them down in a day. Everyone says the US military is so powerful but if one day every single employee in the US entered their workplace and took it over (there's many many more employees than managers/executives) there would be no going back. It's a most difficuly matter and one that unfortunately, in my opinion, will only happen within the confines of a total economic collapse.

Carbon credits are a crock of ****. I hate the phrase carbon footprint. Recycling is a joke as well. It's all a for-profit endeavor and when it ceases to be profitable it is put by the wayside. Like the computer recycling business. They send the computers too impoverished villages in China where they extract the few marketable items from the computers and the lead and mercury is left to leach into their groundwater. The environmental problems are all attributable to corporate interests. It's impossible to have true environmental reform under capitalism. Down with those dirty bastards!

Well I think this well has sun dry so I'll talk a little about something else. I've been going to meetings of the ISO (International Socialist Org) for a couple of months now. It's really interesting. I'm also nearly finished with reading Marx's Capital Vol 1. I actually read most of it years ago but I don't think I absorbed it very well (cause I quit on it). Having read it again it is a most enlightening book to say the least. Understanding not only the origins of the working class struggle but the the origins of manufacture and industry itself, as well as learning what commodities are, how value is created, etc is a really great foundation for understanding modern capitalism and our relations to it. I actually found Marx to be kinda funny too which is surprising. He's very sarcastic! I didn't think sarcasm was a very common thing back in the mid 19th century. <br />
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The ISO meetings are great. I was thinking it would probably just be discussions of capiltalist critique and how to implement socialism but it's more than that. There's really a lot more talk of social justice issues....rights for gays, minorities, workers, women, immigrants, Iranians, etc. There's a lot of participation in various other causes which I think is great. One problem with all these different struggles is that they isolate themselves. They are all fighting the same monster separately (which is just how the monster wants it). Divide and rule is the way of government control. It's a classical wartime tactic which we (the US) employ today in Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as here at home. It's a great way to keep people from seeing the big picture. Keep people scrapping over the small stuff. Anyway, just wanted to write a little about my recent history. PEACE!!

Got the facts drachirhk.<br />
The fact is that you LIED about Ayn Rand being a PRODUCT of a system that did not exist for more than 4 years of her rational life.<br />
A child is not 'formed' by a system that she does not experience.

WRONG drachick!<br />
Germany in 1917 was STRONGLY capitalist.<br />
Aside from some money given by the German Foreign office, Lenin had no interaction with Germany at all, vis the revolution.<br />
Try a book<br />
The Russian Revolution by Alan Moorehead.<br />
Books about the revolution by contemporaries.

Well drichirhk it's obvious this bitlord fella is not worthy of your time. I've had the same problem before....battling it out with someone who's obvioulsy uninformed yet still very opinionated and highly emotional and aggressive in their arguments. It's hard to resist. You know as well as I do that people who are very emotional in their arguments are unable to see another persons view and are blind to any other possibilities. The best argument is a rational one, which you give. Just stick to your guns and f#ck all the rest!

Bitlord....the Soviet Union was formed in 1922 after the 1917 revolution led by Lenin, which was the only true socialist state ever formed. Unfortunately they were hindered by a lack of resources and a lack of other bordering countries following their lead, both of which are now believed to be necessary prerequisites for a successful socialist state. They had counted on Germany becoming socialist as well but that did not happen. Russia went through a civil war until 1922 when the Soviet Union was formed. Rand would've only been 12 when the revolution happened and would've lived through and been influenced very much by the events.

Drachrihk....you are quite correct that when you have one ideology another one will always develop. It's partially the dualistic nature of thought and opinion, and it's also about the fight for power. <br />
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Socialism has taken on many different meanings but the core feature of socialism (that currently does not exist in the world) is the taking hold of the means of production from the elites by the working class. It would result in a classless society democratically run rather the false elitist "democracy" we have today. <br />
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The socialist group meetings I attend, the ISO, focus currently on human rights and equality for all.....LGBT (there's the new term for gays....lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), minorities, women, oppressed people throughout the world (Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc), people in prison wrongly accused, immigrants rights, etc. It's not just a group about changing the economic and political system, it's a group supporting the possibility of universal human rights.

You are lying.<br />
Nine years, only four of which are above the age of reason, is NOT A PRODUCT.<br />
Now, I suppose you aren't lying. Perhaps you are merely a deluded fool.<br />
Take your pick I suppose.

The facts are this...YOU LIED about Ayn Rand being a 'product' of a system she only knew for NINE YEARS!<br />
Figure 3 of those to learn to think, two more to learn to read, and we're talking less than a nickel!<br />
Hell, we call someone who has only done 5 of a 5-10 year sentence a 'term' prisoner.<br />
Yet you claim she was a 'lifer' in 4 years!!

what i want to know is where people get off coming online and talking to another person that way. how passive aggressive can you be.

9 years drachik.<br />
That isn't enough time to finish the third grade.<br />
So much for your claim.<br />
Next time, try ONE FACT before you rant.<br />
See if it fits into your rant before you embarrass yourself again!

I see. So all 9 years after the revolution made her a product.<br />
FALSE!<br />
Now, how long, in fact, before the counterrevolutionaries were defeated?<br />
Oh yeah, 9 years.<br />
So she was not a product of the communist state.<br />
Now that was easy.<br />
She was a product of capitalist reactionaries.

Nope.<br />
Rand never lived under Communism drachrik.<br />
She HATED Communism because her family lost possessions, being among land owners who lived off tenant rents, squeezing the profit from farming.

Too true Bettybutton. I've started re-reading Karl Marx book Capital volume 1. I read 700 pages of it a few years ago but my comprehension of is wasn't that great. I'm understanding it much better now. It's really a great resource for understanding the functioning of capitalism and the ways in which it exploits humans and the environment as well.

Hey there....funny you mention Greenspan. I recently read an article about Ayn Rand (my archnemesis) and how her and Greenspan were good buddies. It said that he was always the truest believer in free market capitalism and it's ability to remain stable (relatively) but his comments recently have been a recanting (if only partial) of his long-held beliefs. I was not aware that he had beliefs back in the '60's that were contrary to this. Not doubting you at all but it's hard to tell which information, if not both, is true.<br />
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I couldn't agree more with what you said about those people who are so into their own beliefs that they are blinded to reality. I am a firm believer that ideology in general is something that inherently is short-sighted and an incomplete picture. When people are so strongly ideological it can become extraordinarily destructive like the Nazis, the right wing ideologists of today, fundamentalist muslims, etc. Of course Marx was an ideologist as well. His theories fell short in some areas but it's been said that his is the most complex ideology in the history of the world. I think that it hits the mark in more areas than most and has foretold the future in myriad ways. BTW the people calling the recent bailouts "socialism" couldn't be further from the truth. Socialism is the workers controlling the means of production. Workers are the ones being screwed with all this while the corporations and execs are the beneficiaries.

Fair enough...<BR><BR>While there are no precedents of society on a large scale living in egalitarian fashion, there are myriad examples of this in small scale society. I am a believer in the idea that just because something has not happened doesn't mean that it won't happen. <BR><BR>I was not personally attacking your schooling...there are obviously many things that engineers do that are of great use and require the acquisition and application of vast amounts of schooling, information, data, etc. I couldn't agree more that knowing and doing are completely different things. My point is that the knowing and the doing don't have to be separated and parceled out to certain individuals. I think it is a very radical concept to those of us born into, conditioned by, and socialized with these ideas of individualism/every man for himself concepts. It's a very difficult concept for the western mind (I'm not excluding myself from this) to wrap around. <BR><BR>I strongly believe that the motivation to do great things, great engineering projects, technological advances, etc would still be there, and actually be greater, if these were to be implemented by and beneficial to the population as a whole. The entire "lack of motivation, lack of self will" idea that lazy people won't take part comes from our a priori concept of labor in the western world. One thing Karl Marx talked a lot about is the ultraspecialization of labor and it's breakdown into minutiae. These ultra repetitive tasks are something that become miserable. The more specialized a society becomes, the more repetitive and miserable these tasks become. I've worked in corporate call centers, waited tables, worked in sales, remodeling, among other lines of work and I've found them all to be miserable. Why do people hunger for Friday and hate Monday? Because work is miserable. It's forced labor (people cannot survive without selling their labor...another Marxist concept): the reality that capitalism is slavery itself. We spend larger portions of our lives than most of the rest of the world just creating conditions for our survival. At least the great bulk of us do while the rest soak up the benefits of our cheap labor (obviously not just in the US service economy).<BR><BR>So, point being, lazy people and the idea of it comes from our system in which people understandably wish to avoid these miserable conditions. I'm not saying that a lazy person would not exist at all in a socialist system but I think they would be a statistically insignificant number. I use the working in my own garden as an example. When I work in my garden, it is labor, but it doesn't feel like work. I am producing for myself, not for someone elses benefit. I enjoy the work. It is not misery but quite the opposite. There is no reason to be lazy. People could and would collectively work together if they were a common goal and a common benefit.<br />
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Homeless people, the lazy, and the poverty-stricken do all become severely magnified in the capitalist system (the pure free-market form we live in). No the system does not create poverty in and of itself, but it perpetuates it and creates conditions in which it is extraordinarily difficult to arise from those circumstances. <br />
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I won't go deeply into this subject cause there's so much to say but if you research the ways in which capitalism creates poverty and third world conditions globally it is undeniably true. In short, proletariats still exist world-wide (all those immigrants from Latin America) and the modern day global economy proletariats that don't have to go anywhere to be exploited (Chinese). These people are removed (even if not physically their time/labor/ability to contribute) from their pre-existing community, can no longer provide their functioning in that community. It creates the breakdown of small scale societies thereby producing third world conditions. <br />
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And right wingers blame those Mexicans for not putting together themselves all the while the Free trade agreements, Coca Cola, drug trade as well as labor flight, all produced by our demand, ensure that Mexico maintains an even large discrepancy between the povery stricken and the rich. It is more than clear that capitalism creates an everwidening gulf between the haves and the have nots....the gulf not only gets larger but the extremes of poor and rich become enhanced. The poor continue to get more and more poor...their conditions more and more miserable. <br />
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We in fact have third world conditions here in America. There are parts of Chicago in which even the police will not enter. They are no different than conditions in many of the gang controlled areas in third world Africa. <BR><BR>Long story short...I am not a complete Marxist but I do believe that our system will implode. It is far too interdependent and as human necessities like water, water treatment, electricity, etc become increasingly privatized, the likelihood of our total and utter collapse become moreso. Just like we've learned recently, when one large sector of the economy fails, others go down like dominoes. This recent recession/depression is only a small taste of what could occur in the future. And with the economy becoming evermore global, the possibility of the domino effect occuring worldwide become even greater. If people lost their electricity, clean water, supermarkets, etc their would be mass revolution and mass death. What would happen to all the people who think that having a cell phone, ipod, laptop, HD TV, etc is a necessity of life. There would be utter madness. These people are the bulk of our population. I believe in the collective consciousness and the possibility of collective insanity, which I believe already exists with our obsession/immersion into technology and away from people, the outer world, etc. <BR><BR>Point being, if/when such a collapse occurs there would have to be a revolution not only politically/economically but also psychologically. People would realize the collective insantiy. What the result would be I'm not sure of. After revolutions the precedent is that a dictator of some sort takes over. An individual usually comes to power because in the madness it has not been possible for a democratic process to take hold. This is something I fear but being an optimist I would hope if the dictator were not benevolent that there would be an overthrow and eventually a movement towards a way of living collectively without exploting one another. This very well may be a fantasy. All that I know is that the way we live now is misery, slavery (a more frightening form in which people know not that they are slaves) and I want to see change.

Well I do not believe in the "forced" form of socialism i.e. communism and/or other forms of totalitarian socialism. Like you said, -isms are always more complicated than the words or basic ideas in themselves. I do believe that there are many people who are willing to work for the collective good rather than just for their individual success. As you said there are always those who are not so they should be free to locate elsewhere. But there are many like me who would voluntarily live in a system of democratic socialism. I would be more than happy to live in the already existing socialist (or socialist leaning) countries where people work much less, all have health care, and have a healthier population unlike the US which is choking on it's own "convenient" and quick fix notions of nutrition and health. <br><br />
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There could be 1000's of people working to build a bridge b/c the bridge needs to be built. Do you think in the past that there were highly paid engineers when the great wonders of the world were being built? Do you think that our architecture today is superior to that in ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mayan central America, or Incan South America? It is certainly not. Yes many of these cultures had kingship but do you think they had highly trained (highly paid) engineers? No....they had people, who knew how to build magnificent arches, bridges, carchophigi, temples, pyramids. Much more fantastic and long lasting than our current "superior, highly trained, well schooled" engineers produce. Yes, many of these were built on the backs of slave laborers but my point is that the knowledge to build these structures, the engineering, does not have to be specialized individual knowledge. And the change to socialism would be to a system in which the labor comes from those willing to work to build these things for the community, not be forced to work, but have their own self will to work. <br />
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These past cultures had collective knowledge....shared knowledge....not specialized exclusive (commodified) knowledge. The commodification of knowledge is something that many people mistake for actual superiority of one human being over another. There is no such thing as individual superiority. Only systemically created superiority exists. Capitalism creates poverty...fundamentally. It creates systems in which some privileged individuals receive favorable education, healthcare, housing, nutrition, etc while others do not. It is a system which fundamentally creates inequality.

RA -- Luckily, capitalism (or Taker Culture, for the Friends of Ishmael) is doing a good job of destroying itself. It's an unsustainable system, so all the wishing and praying won't be able to save it.

Well the term rich fundamentally means the exploitation of others labor. Richness does not exist without low wages. It couldn't cause if there were only high wages then nobody could be rich. People being "shipped out" is an automatic effect of the capitalist system. They are the proletariats. Our proletariats of today are primarily from Latin America. Wherever there is inequality of economy, which there always is in capitalism, there will be people seeking the higher wages and there will be demand for the low wage workers in the economically superior region. This has been going on since the earliest days of the capitalist mode. What this situation creates is always a situation where the region that loses the workers cannot recover and becomes more and more poverty stricken as time passes. The loss of laborers means the breakdown of society in those regions. Imagine if a very large percentage of the workers here in America suddenly moved to China and continued to do so for many years. Our economy would cease to function and there would be mass poverty. Long story short, there is no such thing as capitalism without exploitation. There's no such thing as a world with equality in which rich people exist.

I may agree with you but your statements are pretty general and I can't really know where you're going with that.

Well you may be right but I do believe in Marxism in that capitalism will ultimately fail and people will learn lessons from it (at least a lesson or two haha). No political system, economic system, or imperialist power has ever stayed in place permanently.<br />
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However I do not believe in utopia, there will always be struggles here on earth, but I do believe things can be better.

Agree wholheartedly.

I hate it too. There will always be a war between humanitarianism and capitalism and capitalism will usually win.

Well I don't tend to like the word bad but I guess evil isn't a very good one either. I agree that there are much more acceptable forms of capitalism. I don't know if pure socialism would be a problem but communism certainly sucks ***!<br />
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There are many forms of anarchy also, some of which are very interesting and truly liberating (in theory) Chaotic anarchy is the one people always think of but it's far from the only form.<br />
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I do not agree with your statement about liberalism. The benefactors can be the people themselves. People working for themselves. And the motivation is so much more present. When I "work" in my garden, for my benefit, it doesn't feel like work. When I work for a company making phone calls I feel that work sucks...the only motivation is survival in the form of money. To say that benefactors are necessary is leaving a loophole for exploitation.<br />
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I do think finding a balance is key...not necessarily between just capitalism and socialism, there are other forms.

rider012 -- That's because we've forgotton all the alternatives. We are so consumed in consumerism, that we've forgotten that there are other ways that people have lived in the past.<br />
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PA -- I agree with you on this. Being a rat in the rat race isn't all that great.

It's rape and slavery at it's most pure and frightening cause people like you don't see it. Go tell people in Latin America, Asia, Africa, etc that it's the best thing man has managed to come up with. It's destroying and/or has destroyed not only human dignity but our living space and our culture. Creating one giant monster of consumption and social distance.

Yeah it's a frightening form of oppression, most people remain unaware of it on a conscious level. Subconsciously though I think many people's minds are tortured knowing the sickness that's in the world.

Its a system built upon the caste system. i feel absolutley oppressed.

With the collapse of capitalism will come much strife and horror. But I don't think it will be the END. Man will just have to radically alter the way we've been living. We will have to live more simply and locally. There is certain to be much death in the process but I don't think it will be the end of the world. The drive for economic control of the world has already taken an enormous toll on mankind. I think to reverse the process will mean revolution. I can see it happening in America if we hit a true economic depression in this day and age.

$$$$ I agree. I think capitalism is the antichrist. The mark of the beast is a barcode (for which you make all purchases by) and it is the ultimate form of religion. No matter what denomination a person is, we all "know" money makes the world go round. Isn't that nothing more than belief? <br />
Capitalism infiltrates all forms of government eventually taking over. Maybe I'm just rambling and sounding preachy, but I think it represents the beginning of the end when it rears it's head.