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  1. Are you being purposely obtuse? Africa is way better resourced. Plants grow all year round. You can eat pretty much everything. There is no real winter. The land is much easier to traverse since our ancestors lived mainly in the african steppe and Europe has dense forests making movement much harder requiring more resources for smaller distances. Also you need to have shelter in Europe requiring resources to build and maintain, in Africa your fine outside most of the time. If you don't prepare for winter, you starve in Europe forcing you gather more resources in shorter period of time. This is not rocket science.
  2. Any 2 neolithic societies where one lives in Africa and the other in Europe.
  3. ibx


    Then we are in agreement. It must have been a misunderstanding.
  4. ibx


    Where exactly are you disagreeing with me? Taxes where always a part of capitalism which is a mitigation in itself. Capitalism is also not a monolithic system but implemented differently in many forms all over the world. The fact remains, that all countries that have implemented their version of capitalism have been more successful in nearly any quantifiable metric than countries that have not.
  5. ibx


    you do misinterpret me. I am not talking about social Darwinism. I am trying to talk about why the world is how it is and why you are bound to fail with your ideas because they ignore history and why things are as they are. I think competition/cooperation needs more nuance. It's not one or the other but a combination of both. Technology moves quickest during times of war with is nothing but a fight over resources. So competition is a major driver for (technological) progress. Yet people in competing groups work together and cooperate to make it happen and they do this because they are competing for resources. I agree, species work together to further their own survival in a world with limited resources competing against other species for the same resources. You already mentioned Darwin, then you know the most successful species are the ones that have found a niche. I also don't know where in my text I said anything that makes you think I am against cooperation... What do you think trade is? I agree that the incentives are skewed, yet it's exactly these incentives that make capitalism so successful. There was a political system tried where people where incentivised to work for whole. Where there were supposed to be no class differences and so on. Remember what happened to that? I do think there is a more or less optimal system. It's called social market democracy and it works really well in Europe. The debate is always around the amount of redistribution which has to be constantly adapted to changing circumstances. I agree with that. I agree also. The problem is quantifying the value the tree in the forest. And if you take that line of thought to the end, the guy not being allowed to cut down the tree would leave him homeless and possibly starving. What alternative incentives do to you suggest if not more access to more resources for the individual? I think that is the fundamental problem. Nobody has a full belly due to feeling well or working for the whole... Apparently you know German so I will quote Brecht: "Erst kommt das Fressen dann kommt die Moral". Yes and that is why the capitalistic "cancer cells" are constantly being restrained by laws like taxation, anti trust and so on. In countries where this more prominent the societies are often more peaceful with less social problems. That's why we don't have a completely free market because it would have imploded long ago. Still, the personal incentives for people to reap direct rewards are fundamental for a free and successful society. You are IMHO opinion wrong that this system is self terminating. It has proven pretty resilient over the last 400 years or so. It does require constant updates though. If you look at the excesses of the 20th century you can see to what the alternatives lead to. Yes, the fundamental problem of how to get people to work against their own interests. The only people that have made an art of this and been very successful is the GOP :-) Like I said I disagree that this system if self terminating and through constant updates is the most successful system we have.
  6. ibx


    Thanks. Yes. Where he is wrong in the way, that the system was not designed. I will not use word evolved because billvon will take offense. But the system grew and was,is adapted to the current zeitgeist. It is impossible to design a system with the inherent complexity of the world. We don't even completely understand the current system. Otherwise making money at the stock exchange would be much easier. If you look at the history of philosophy, you will notice that at the time when our current system started evolving, there were many thinkers who thought up pretty much every element of the system long before it was implemented. I would really like a citation for that. Keynes and Smith described an already established system. If you are talking about social contract theory, that could lead a free market economy but does not directly describe it... I would honestly be interested in those philosophers you speak of. And here I think you have summarized the fault in your thoughts. Nature, including human nature was always about maximizing profits to ultimately have a better chance to reproduce. Just change the word profit to resources. Profit/money is only an abstraction for resources and the access to them that we humans invented to make trade simpler and to make quantification of resources comparable. Most of what happens in nature is to maximize access to resources. Like a wolf protecting it's territory for example or a seed flying a large distance. The ultimate driving factor is of course sex->reproduction, that's why woman for a long time where treated as resources, this is sadly still true today for some cultures (ISIS sex slavery). The Taliban not allowing woman to go to school are the effects of that thinking. Looking through all of history almost every conflict was fought over resources or the access to them and this is true until today(more resources = more woman, more sex, more babies and better chance of them surviving). So I would argue that "profit maximization" is integral to human nature and there was never a successful system where this was not the case. I would challenge you to name a single successful society in all of history where resource access/profit maximization was not the priority. Capitalism gave humanity a more successful way for more people to access more resources. Wars are expensive, trade is simply more effective at resource distribution, that is why it is the dominant system today. All attempts to change this system have failed since they ignore human nature. This is of course simplified, but it's the gist of why I think you are wrong. I also apologize for my tone on the last posts.... I hope we can continue this discussion.
  7. ibx


    Maybe... but then as you said, software development is a terrible analogy. But after reading mbohus comments again in case I missed something I still think he lacks a basic understanding of why things are as they are. Why else invoke sw development as an example when there are much more obvious ones like anti trust, or the existence of reserve banks. Redistribution already does what he wants without some utilitarian dictatorship meddling in the market.
  8. ibx


    We don't have a single natural system that works on pure market dynamics. That is exactly what I mean by the way our market developed, it started out very free and was continually adapted to emerging technologies and negative market forces. Anti trust for example is a necessary system to ensure the further existence of the free market. Mbohu seems to think you can develop a new market system from the ground up which is in some way superior to one that evolved over 350 years or so. That idea is especially insane when one wants to use the same metrics for success, in this case profit. >Point is you can't dismiss any other idea simply because it restricts pure market freedom, because the pure free market is a myth. I don't think I am. I am however very skeptical of proposed systems that were developed and not evolved. See my Anti Trust example above. I am also for lots of redistribution which inherently limits the free market but is necessary for people to not die in the streets. When reading the examples of a new proposed market system, that contains for example the valuation of things that cannot be traded, I must call bullshit and also question the basic economic understanding of someone proposing those ideas.
  9. ibx


    This is of course vastly simplified like Yoink already said. And a big factor of why your Ideas are naive at best. You simply fail to understand why the market today works as it does. No software industry would exist if one could not recoup the cost of development. Also I think you simply fail to understand that the initial price is set by the producer any producer must also have the right to determin the price because he knows best what the investment was, intervening in this would be, you guessed it, a planned market economy. The artificial scarcity is super important to make anything digital profitable and thus sustainable. Today this accounts for pretty much any form of information. Yeah... Only we don't have outside teams. We are not competing with aliens but one another. This again reads like some communist fantasy where the proletariat unites. Where do you think the incentive comes from to out compete somebody? and would people still even be motivated to create great things without reward that you want to take from them since, they must now freely share their products. You see where this is a major reason for the failure of planned economies? This idea alone should prove to you what you are talking about here. Like communists you are completely ignoring human nature and so are bound to fail. So you think you can design a working Economy like a software product? You gonna revise the system in sprints? What specs are you gonna base your economies success on? This does sound suspiciously like a planned economy, don't you think? Then why do you think you can design an economy like a software product? Hubris at it's best. I suggest you read a little bit of history to understand how the current economy developed and why this a major reason for it's success and sustainability. Naturally out compete a system, that more or less shits on the environment, shits on human capital and maximizes profits over anything else? Your're gonna have to change metrics by which you measure success, and as soon as you do that, any bloody system can out compete any other because the everybody is setting their own goal posts... It's too bad that the ideas offered here are completely void of reality and many of these ideas have been tried and failed spectacularly.
  10. ibx


    It' trivial to criticize any system form the outside while ignoring why this system is in place and secondly what makes it successful in the first place. The solutions he provides are simply incompatible with market dynamics, like the valuation example. Doing this would require a massive infringement on the valuation model the economy which would be impossible to achieve w/o a " Top down planned market economy". Take a very simple example: Indonesia clears the rain forest for palm oil plantations. This is of course bad for nature, but good for the local and global economy. How would go about quantifying the damage done to the rain forest? And would this "number" have to be equal for all rain forests? And how would you go about explaining to the Indonesian people that have to remain poor because the rain forest has some intrinsic value decided by, well who would decide that? His ideas are utopian und completely unrealistic, don't seem thought out in any considerable way, which also explains his web design from 1995.
  11. ibx


    So you're against taxes used on common goods like schools, roads, police and so on? In capitalistic society a certain amount of redistribution must happen if not the majority of the people live as indentured servants. Not letting people starve in the streets when they find themselves impoverished is also a nice thing for a society to achieve. I would say these things can be permanently solved by the right amount of redistribution, don't you think? The level at which this happens is open for debate, not the fact in itself. Edit: From your Link: >Our current global economic system is not only sub-optimal with regard to both goals, but is fundamentally unstable and ultimately self-terminating. Sorry I can't read this diatribe any further... Marx already predicted the end of capitalism among countless others and all have been categorically wrong, that's just the beginning of the problems with this article. It reads like a call for a "planned economy" which has been tried with desasterous consequences. This quote alone should tell you all you need to know with whats wrong with this article: "Valuing things that are scarce independent of actual utility leads to decreased system utility holistically (eg, cut down a forest to mine the gold under it and put it in underground vaults that provide no real utility to anyone – only fiat value)." Valuation of goods without market input... Now that is a revolutionary idea! what could possibly go wrong?
  12. ibx


    Yes. This seems intuitive, and seems to be backed up by science... The solution of course would be redistribution, but sadly we all know how that discussion goes in the US... The vehement opposition to redistribution is a majorly compounding factor in inequality. The insane arguments when discussing gun violence and health care on this forum by self described patriots are a good example.
  13. ibx


    Yes I would say so. This is one of the things that makes the USA so successful and at the same so miserable. Two better words would be individualism and opportunism. Both of these things are not nearly as profound in other countries. In Europe nobody has a problem with socialized health care for example... The individual has higher standing in the American Psych than it has in the old country by far.