Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby hyksos on November 22nd, 2017, 10:20 am 

What's happening in the United States is that they are going to turn into a system that something closer to China.

Traditionally, government has been the steady enemy of the industrial and private sectors. The government acts as a deterrent against extravagances in the private sector. Among these "extravagances" is :

1. Poisoning the ground water.
2. Destroying the environment.
3. Endangering consumers with dangerous or toxic goods.
4. Forming monopolies.
5. Exploiting the wage earners with dangerous working conditions, artificially low wages, and long hours.

There are the various agencies of the federal government who were traditionally meant to defend against such abuses. (For example, when you appoint an administrator of the EPA, you don't hire a guy in a suit. You hire the loudest, most hippy tree-hugger with the hemp necklace. Because that's the kind of pitbull who will fight industry day and night, on behalf of the environment. ) But in the Trump era, the leader of those agencies has been appointed so as to destroy those protections. In essence, the Trump administration appointees are going to turn the government from the enemy of industry, into the friend of industry.

When the government acts as the police and protector of private capital, the abuses will return and persist in a more extreme way than before. This is how China operates. Large industry in China is propped up by a system of corruption reaching to the highest esch of the Communist Party. It's a form of state-run crony capitalism. Trump and the GOP see this kind of money-power-play-corruption as the future of America.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on November 22nd, 2017, 12:44 pm 

Indeed.
But this is not a change of direction: the USA began with a clique of merchants and landowners, who set up the system of government according to their own interest - certainly not for the peasants and workers, and most emphatically not to protect the environment, the natives or the wildlife against business.
Because of the democratic process, other voices came to be heard over time, and prevailed in some matters (abolition of slavery, enfranchisement of women and labour, protection of children, caring for the old and sick) Clean (or anyway cleanish) democracy tends toward equality of persons and thus a balance of interests; it tends toward parity of powers and distribution of wealth.
When what is now known as conservatives rule, they make every effort to tilt the balance toward individual enrichment; when what used to be called liberals rule, they make every effort to tilt the balance toward communal welfare. The former is generally short-sighted and that causes financial, international and social crises; the latter can't hold the attention of citizens long enough to be effective.
Damage can be done very fast; its bills come due later. Repair is slow and expensive.

Now that Trump has taken the protections off everything - air, water, wolf-cubs, Puerto Rico, elephants, levees, unions - everything, by the time he's done, there won't be much to repair. Maybe nothing, if the missiles actually work and don't blow up in their silos.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on November 23rd, 2017, 2:41 am 

Hyksos -

I don't think the US can copy China. I think my "prediction" about the death of the nation state is more or less a running commentary on what is happening already, and in the case of the US what has already happened to the largest degree.

The state has too little power to do anything. China works because they have no democracy so in order to work in the US people would have to give up democratic freedoms. Combine this with the overt, albeit disassociated, control of corporate interests over state agendas, I think the US will simply collapse and fragment. I just hope its not catastrophic and doesn't impact upon the rest of the world too heavily. It could be a very good thing.

It is clear the whole Mexican Wall business is a political statement and is simply a mental construct more than a physical one. It is a reminder of patriotism and a flailing attempt to keep in place the idea of state rule.

The future of the US lies in the hands of the corporations and you'll simply have to settle for the ideologies they implement on society. I imagine you'll see maybe one or two more "politicians" (meaning presidents who have jumped through the traditional hoops - maybe Sanders will be one of the last couple?), then you'll find entrepeneurs vying for the presidential role.

This could be a good thing. It would be at least a more clear tyranny and I am all for tyranny if the tyrant is a good tyrant (using the the ancient Greek definition of "tyrant") This is good because rather than the people facing the puppet of the disassociated corporate interests they'll be faced with someone who is one of those interests. That may be the one thing that saves The US from dropping democracy completely.

Lomax -

Maybe you can see I;ve been influenced by the views expressed in recent Brand vid? ;)

Was an interesting viewing (55mins long btw): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5WxdqmAue0

I think I may have to take a closer look at this Peretti fellow.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on November 26th, 2017, 12:01 am 

BadgerJelly » November 23rd, 2017, 3:41 pm wrote:This could be a good thing. It would be at least a more clear tyranny and I am all for tyranny if the tyrant is a good tyrant (using the the ancient Greek definition of "tyrant") This is good because rather than the people facing the puppet of the disassociated corporate interests they'll be faced with someone who is one of those interests. That may be the one thing that saves The US from dropping democracy completely.

Yes, it is interesting how all (what I call) 'discerning' societies seem to veer towards a democratized tyranny - whether through special interests for the wealthy or cadres vying for dominance. Ultimately the foundational political model does not matter so much, because any long-term imbalance it creates is addressed by those powerful parties that have long-term investments in the benefits of mass-cooperation - in efficient civil stability.

We see this in America, for example, with the Sherman Antitrust Act: "If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation and sale of any of the necessaries of life."

Capitalism is 'reigned in' for the benefit of the national long-term vision when it needs to be. Pure Capitalists may call Sherman and his supporters 'economic tyrants' of sorts, but then Capitalists who 'get there first' and monopolise resources easily become another kind of tyrant - albeit most often a seemingly less prosocial one.

What we see operating below all of these models and systems, then, is the 'virtue' of cooperative ethics, ethics which are in turn governed by the raw economics of cooperative behaviour. And suddenly we are back to the work of Robert Axelrod and 'Tit for Tat' nicety that I have so often mentioned on this forum elsewhere. For there is just no arguing with the mathematics of efficient resource procurement.

Efficiency is not the be-all and end-all for survival, of course, but it tends to be when there are biological 'arms races' going on between competing cultures, as there is between neighbour, village, town, city, state, and nation across the whole of the world at present.

Thus, the more efficiently a product can be produced, stored, and not need to be replaced, then the 'fitter' a state can be economically on the competitive world stage, and thus weather global storms (such as a financial crisis.)

Another term one could use for social efficiency is wisdom, but in the US, for example, wisdom can be hijacked by superstitious or ethnically-driven interests to the point that national efficiency is driven down to the point of dysfunction.

'Otherisation' of potential assets - business partners, military support, political sympathisers and so forth limits options and scares away greater cooperation benefits. The phrase 'many hands make light work' seems wasted on the likes of Trump - he seems to think people are better off broken into small competing factions. That is only a recipe for conflict and thus wasted energy.

Yes, many hands competing to please the boss all at the same time can possibly please the boss better than a team of cooperating lazy workers, but a team of highly-motivated cooperating workers would be able to specialize and work together in intelligent ways that far supercede competing individuals. This is the true wisdom of all animal societies - including our bodies; communities of specialised cells.

The internal competition that Capitalism relies upon, then, is ALWAYS out-competed by highly-motivated cooperative external communities when available resources are equal. It is as simple as comparing a tumour-ridden human body (a closed community of competing cellular factions) with a healthy human body - a closed cellular community with a unified prosocial vision. The choice of 'body politic' therefore results in 'splinter cells', and thus inner turmoil and less efficiency, or not ;P . You see, the wisdom is latent in the very language we use - we know all of this in our hearts already, if we care to listen...
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on November 26th, 2017, 1:55 am 

Moss -

I would simply point out that competition is useful and will always arise when the balance of resources is unequal. Such "storms" allow for the development of new systems and innovation.

I am not disagreeing with what you're saying here nor accusing you of being blinkered, just putting emphasis on the need for dynamism rather than stagnation and the difficulty of striking a balance that will never cause the pendulum to snap.

Another important point to consider is being able to recognize "resources". I do believe in this regard society is slowly but surely being pushed toward an understanding of more abstract "resources". Personally I am starting to consider the most important "resource" to be "potential" ... I have to admit I have not fully explored this idea yet, so at the moment it's quite wishy-washy!

Generally speaking I think if society is directed toward more aesthetic ideals we're going to see more "value" attached to creativity and artistry. Already I really do believe this is the case, but that it lies deep down under a whole strata of economic manipulations that feed of it.

I guess this ramble boils down to me saying the things that we cannot put a price tag on are likely to be the things to shift/shatter Capitalism ... the more I think about this I think we cannot do without Capitalism, in a practical sense, but we can do without it as a mental template for our thoughts ... and here I also find myself flailing around with this being more of a problem of education and the residue of the industrial revolution.

Ignore this bit if you must (you probably should!) haha! :

This may be too much of an analogy for some, but I think about this in terms of "I Walk The Line" (I could pick any number of "love" themed songs because I think they are all essentially speaking about "love" of humanity within the self for the self and the sake of humanity), with the premise being of our loyalty to ourselves as humanity, yet keeping "a close watch on this heart of mine" and "eyes open wide all the time".

Ever since my head exploded and I heard Beyoncé's "Halo" and understood as me singing to myself, and that every love song is about the singer singing to themselves, for the love we feel for someone is not FOR THEM, it is the appreciation of our own capacity for love that is merely cast upon someone else as an apparition - this makes sense more if you're familiar with Jungian psychology.

If you have a good imagination you can maybe get some idea of how this would relate to the economic structure of society and what I mean about "aesthetic" and "artistry".
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on November 26th, 2017, 7:31 am 

BadgerJelly » November 26th, 2017, 2:55 pm wrote:I am not disagreeing with what you're saying here nor accusing you of being blinkered, just putting emphasis on the need for dynamism rather than stagnation and the difficulty of striking a balance that will never cause the pendulum to snap.

But there is already a dynamism that drives progress no matter the economic system - that of genesis vs entropy. No matter genetic evolution or cultural evolution, it is driven by the inherent intention of all living things to preserve their self-creating processes. Gender hierarchies or any other absolute prescribed way of persisting (otherwise known as fascism) is going to help entropy more, rather than life. For example, in Japan the fascism regarding gender roles is apparently causing a breeding issue in the population - where women do not wish to have children with the patriarchal men.

‘You Mean Women Deserve Careers?’ Patriarchal Japan Has Breakthrough Moment
TIME, Oct. 1, 2013
Despite prevailing attitudes, many Japanese women have wriggled free of the social straightjacket that forces mothers to quit their jobs after they have children. With more and more women refusing to settle down, Japan’s birthrate has now plummeted to the point where the population in 2060 is projected to be 30% smaller than that of 2010.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby hyksos on November 27th, 2017, 7:24 pm 

Serpent » November 22nd, 2017, 8:44 pm wrote:the USA began with a clique of merchants and landowners, who set up the system of government according to their own interest - certainly not for the peasants and workers, and most emphatically not to protect the environment, the natives or the wildlife against business.

I learned a little more about this recently. The colonials clear-cut ancient forests. I mean , literally left zero trees standing. They also hunted wild turkey to extinction. The turkey did not come back to New England until they were re-introduced to the area in the 1970s. (Read that again. Nineteen seventies).
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on November 27th, 2017, 8:21 pm 

hyksos » November 27th, 2017, 6:24 pm wrote:I learned a little more about this recently. The colonials clear-cut ancient forests. I mean , literally left zero trees standing. They also hunted wild turkey to extinction. The turkey did not come back to New England until they were re-introduced to the area in the 1970s. (Read that again. Nineteen seventies).

Let me guess - during an administration that introduced environmental protections, monetary regulation and social policies as a means of recovery from a period of aggressive industrial expansion and foreign policy that had led to domestic disparity, discontent and disruption.
I don't imagine that did the turkeys any lasting good. Nor the buffalo.

Mossling -- Thus, the more efficiently a product can be produced, stored, and not need to be replaced, then the 'fitter' a state can be economically on the competitive world stage, and thus weather global storms (such as a financial crisis.)

I don't see how this applies to a modern economy, at any level. States do not compete economically with other states. The state has nothing to do with the control or movement of resources, except to set up an embargo here, a tariff there, as the document-signing puppet du jour is directed. The means of production, distribution, marketing and financing are completely beyond the power of the state to regulate or influence - or even benefit from. The capital and the profit, as well as the head office, factories and shipping lines, can be moved freely around the globe, by the 80-odd major shareholders in the world's wealth.

Money has no country, no fealty, no obligation - but heads of state are beholden to money interests.

This is why, if any smaller nation attempts to be autonomous in the control of its own resources, energy production, the sale and consumption of goods, or even such seemingly internal matters as water management or reproductive rights, a bigger nation, (at the behest of its financial bosses) will step in, overtly or covertly. Through 'investment' (buy up all the prime real estate, agricultural land and natural resources) manipulation (corruption of government officials, support of hostile neighbours or minorities or factions inside the target country; undermining its trade agreements with third parties) intimidation or force of superior arms, it will destroy that government and replace it with something either aligned to its own agenda or a straw enemy that its own people can be turned against.
Any idea how many times the US has done this in the last century?
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on November 29th, 2017, 6:16 am 

Serpent » November 28th, 2017, 9:21 am wrote:States do not compete economically with other states. The state has nothing to do with the control or movement of resources, except to set up an embargo here, a tariff there, as the document-signing puppet du jour is directed. The means of production, distribution, marketing and financing are completely beyond the power of the state to regulate or influence - or even benefit from. The capital and the profit, as well as the head office, factories and shipping lines, can be moved freely around the globe, by the 80-odd major shareholders in the world's wealth.

Then how does a state pay it's army then? By what economic means?

From taxes of course, and those taxes come from the economic activities of the nation's citizens - people who cannot just go to live in another country, and who want to keep their investments near and safe - under domestic military protection. Keeping assets abroad can be a risky business - just look at how Russian-owned assets in the US have been frozen by America recently, for example.

In this way, one can say a country such as China competes economically with America - creating GDP that funds aircraft carriers and the likes. The global companies are just asides in this matter.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on November 29th, 2017, 8:58 pm 

Mossling » November 29th, 2017, 5:16 am wrote:[States do not compete economically with other states.]

Then how does a state pay it's army then? By what economic means?
From taxes of course, and those taxes come from the economic activities of the nation's citizens - people who cannot just go to live in another country, and who want to keep their investments near and safe - under domestic military protection.

You've just lumped two separate players into one. The workers, who pay most of the taxes, cannot move freely. Though they make an attempt to go where the work is, they often encounter severe sanctions. The big investors, who are also the employers, can move freely, can take their own and their small investors' money freely, can sink them into banks and enterprises abroad; buy land, buy controlling interest in local business, buy regulating agencies and officials, import and export water, food, fuel, toxic waste, armaments and technological advances at will.

Keeping assets abroad can be a risky business - just look at how Russian-owned assets in the US have been frozen by America recently, for example.

I'm not sure how deep that freeze is; in any case, it's not a seizure, and won't be. But you've just indicated that assets are, in fact, invested abroad. Whatever may happen to the Russian Mafia's laundry in New York doesn't affect their holdings in Vancouver, Shanghai, Rio and London.

In this way, one can say a country such as China competes economically with America - creating GDP that funds aircraft carriers and the likes.

One could say that. In fact, many people even believe it. To some degree it's probably still true of China, where the government is also a major industrial mover and policy controller, but it's not been true of the US for some time - if ever. And it's certainly not true of the smaller countries they're pushing around like checkers on a game-board.
This kind of thing may be the exception, https://capx.co/china-buys-its-first-african-colony-for-a-meagre-40million/ but this http://www.southwestfarmpress.com/management/corporations-buying-land-globally-could-deplete-resources-corner-food-marketis nothing new, and this http://www.planetexperts.com/banks-billionaires-buying-worlds-water/ is even more disturbing.
When you add in how much governments - especially those of small nations - borrow from privately owned financial institutions, how much control do you suppose each of those governments has over its own economy? How much competing can they do ----
Against whom are they competing and what are they competing for?

The global companies are just asides in this matter.

Of course they are. They're nothing more than tools - the instruments through which those 80-odd people manipulate the world they will soon own outright.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on November 30th, 2017, 1:13 am 

Against whom are they competing and what are they competing for?

See the ethnostate thread for more detail, but they are competing on behalf of a historically and often ethnically-rooted cultural meme that has been deployed to and often made relatively permanent (through architecture and so forth) in a particular geographical territory or territories - a 'way' of life - the American way, the British way, and so on.

That cultural meme tends to permeate the population's sense of self - a persisting territorial occupation, and thus they set this particular geographically-rooted self - their way - against the ways of others.

It doesn't matter how much American hotdogs are loved in America, them sausages just ain't gonna sell in the middle East. Now hummus on the other hand....
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on November 30th, 2017, 2:15 am 

And yes, the hotdog store can be owned from outside the country, but the meat just isn't welcome in some places, and is inefficient to transport to the marketplace from very far away.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on November 30th, 2017, 2:57 am 

Moss -

I think it may be worth focusing on the "ethnostate" idea. Or rather the "culturestate". If the actual geopolitical state dissolves, which it is likely to at some point (no idea when though.) Then people will have to adapt their sense of identity. I guess we see this day-to-day with sports teams and fashion, as well as choice of consumed goods (iPhone people and MacBook people.)

Lately I have seen more and more people looking away from brand loyalty and trying to strike out against advertising. There seems to be more interest growing in what constitutes "value".

I have always looked upon patriotism as a subtler form of religious institution (belief in an entity created in the minds of the people) and I wonder what a transition away from patriotism would look like as nationhood seems to dissolve more and more as governmental control and influence increasingly lessens.

It is not unimaginable in my mind that socialism will come more and more into effect and that "value" will turn away from monetary "value" and more toward basic living. I guess this is my more optimistic view of the future which involves more emphasis on the aesthetics of items in life rather than the material use of items in life. Right now we have mass outlets of "entertainment" and people lap it up. If this obvious human obsession with humans can break out of the economic system more I can see a lot of good coming from this. At the moment it seems to be being put to use as a cathartic sedative rather than as a means of proactive motion toward a global political shakeup.

I don't think people are desensitized to the problems of the world through the media, I just feel that people are given an emotional release rather than an actual option to create action.

So my question is Does capitalism cause apathy? I am proposing it does. If you can take this onboard, or at least regard the current human climate as one that is quite cynical or apathetic, is there a breaking point where we'll hit a crescendo of apathy and snap out of it? Is it simply that the apathetic people get the closer we're getting to a threshold where people will simply use up all the apathy they can and be forced into action?

Sorry if this is a little abstract. I just have a strong feeling that the issues surrounding the problems of capitalism is mainly to do with "value". It seems to me that capitalism has encouraged us to put value to aesthetics and drown the wealth of beauty with more material based ideas of wealth. Art made and sold as a product, not made and distributed as a means to progress the human condition (although it undoubtedly does this whether it is sold for monetary gains or not, the issue is thinking about art as a economic product on par with raw materials.

Anyone care to comment? This is more of a gut feeling for me so any direction on this matter would be welcome.

Thanks
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on November 30th, 2017, 12:33 pm 

Mossling » November 30th, 2017, 12:13 am wrote:[Against whom are they competing and what are they competing for?]
See the ethnostate thread for more detail, but they are competing on behalf of a historically and often ethnically-rooted cultural meme that has been deployed to and often made relatively permanent (through architecture and so forth) in a particular geographical territory or territories - a 'way' of life - the American way, the British way, and so on.

The last two don't actually exist, but that's a quibble.
I asked what they are competing for - which means: What prize does the winner get?
You answer what they're supposedly competing on behalf of, which I'm not sure what it means.
You have moved the competition to a different realm, to which there may be quite different arguments that would derail the current topic.
What I responded to was the idea of national economies competing in terms of efficiency and income. I contend that they do not, because the boards of directors of major industry, financial institutions and media are all the same people.
It doesn't matter how much American hotdogs are loved in America, them sausages just ain't gonna sell in the middle East. Now hummus on the other hand....

That doesn't matter, either, because MacDonald's is already everywhere, and if people don't like the imported fare, they tweak it to suit the local palate. They still get the government's co-operation in the form of tax breaks, labour laws, even traffic lights for its parking lot.

The point is: local government has very little power or control over its own economy. It can, to some slight degree, side with the workers against the employers, but if it tries to protect the workers too much, or tax the corporations too much, spend more on social welfare than American armaments, enact environmental regulation against industrial pollution, reserve the right to heritage crops instead of monoculture, or give its own farmers more water access than the foreign-owned agricultural operation,
that government is replaced by a more business-friendly government - with or without military intervention.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on December 1st, 2017, 4:47 am 

Mossling » November 30th, 2017, 12:13 am wrote:I asked what they are competing for - which means: What prize does the winner get?
...
I contend that they do not, because the boards of directors of major industry, financial institutions and media are all the same people.

Let's use China vs America then - China is apparently attempting to maintain its own cultural and political sovereignty, as America attempts to seek a land border with China in preparation for insurgencies of various sorts - cultural, political, ethnic, and so forth. So China competing for mere existence, while America is competing for global dominance.

China needs to increase its GDP for military defence and America is seeking to protect its already large GDP - partially through militaristic interference around China's borders. So here we have two nation states competing economically due to two different cultural meme bundles being perceived by leaders on at least one side as being incompatible.

The point is: local government has very little power or control over its own economy. It can, to some slight degree, side with the workers against the employers, but if it tries to protect the workers too much, or tax the corporations too much, spend more on social welfare than American armaments, enact environmental regulation against industrial pollution, reserve the right to heritage crops instead of monoculture, or give its own farmers more water access than the foreign-owned agricultural operation,
that government is replaced by a more business-friendly government - with or without military intervention.


No, China, as a nation state, can and does control whether Google, Facebook, Hollywood, or any other foreign entity sets foot within China and does business, whilst it maintains a constantly rising GDP that may very likely become the largest in the world.

This means that your argument is surely false.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on December 1st, 2017, 11:03 am 

Mossling » December 1st, 2017, 3:47 am wrote: No, China, as a nation state, can and does control whether Google, Facebook, Hollywood, or any other foreign entity sets foot within China and does business, whilst it maintains a constantly rising GDP that may very likely become the largest in the world.

While Ecuador, the Philippines and Ghana do not, cannot and will not.

Of course, China does not act as a single unit - is, in fact, often at odds with itself, just as America is. You haven't identified the actual persons at the center of China who make the decisions and allocate the funds. You have not traced how the interests of these persons compare, combine and conflict with those of the population(s) and culture(s); how government and business interact. Nor, for that matter, how many mines a Chinese consortium owns in Australia or South Africa or the USA.

This means that your argument is surely false.

Yes - if China and the US are the only nation-states in the world and each one acts as a single coherent will on a single coherent principle.
They seem to be the only ones you're interested in, so all the countries they dominate are irrelevant.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on December 1st, 2017, 9:13 pm 

Of course the citizens of those countries can have interests abroad, but as nation states with borders that issue passports and visas of various sorts, the cultural meme that they are championing has a geographical 'motherland' that is militarily protected - a 'den' where most of the economic benefits are hauled back to.

Again, corporations need to keep their assets somewhere, and right now, for example, it's not a good idea for Russians to keep them in America. I'm guessing any Russian-owned corporation right now would prefer to have their assets at home in Russia 'under their pillow', rather than be scrutinized by the FBI. Why? Because America competes economically with Russia as a nation state, just like neighboring provinces do, and cities, and districts, and you and your neighbor do. Because a sense of self has layers - unique cultural memes that create competing economic entities at significant geographical junctures - 'zones'.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on December 1st, 2017, 10:32 pm 

If you say so.
When 'memes' rush in, I fear to tread.
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