Jejudo, South Korea
Nice to see you posting again.
I was wondering if this thread would move in this direction - I'm glad it did. I've held back a bit because I wasn't sure how I should proceed.
"Capitalism is based on opportunity, and supply and demand."
--Capitalism is based on capital. That's why it's called capitalism. Capital is money or resources used in the investment of enterprises in which the primary goal is to increase capital.
"If I have something you want, we agree on a price to exchange that item or service... if we cannot agree on a price, you have no obligation to participate in that exchange."
--Sure, but this isn't capitalism. This is trade. Trade has been around a long time and is quite beneficial. Marx thought so.
"If what I have is something vital to your survival (fuel, basic human services, etc.) the government does a pretty good job of regulating what I can demand in exchange."
--Are you arguing that this is what government should do?
"If what I have is something extranious, cars, clothes, etc. Then my price demands are regulated merely by what you will pay for them."
--Who determines extraneous and necessity? If you live in Los Angeles, I think a car is pretty necessary. Clothes? Computers? Of course, these are variable that change with time.
"The other end of this is that anyone has the opportunity to make, or discover, or offer goods or services in exchange for monetary recompense."
--In capitalism, that anyone must enter the system of capital enlargement. If he/she does not he will be squeezed out through competition. It's not an issue necessarily of evil owners and innocent workers but of what you have to do to stay in the game.
"Most of this opportunity is based on will, drive, desire, effort, and some luck."
--I don't mean to trivialize these traits but you still have to have capital.
"It is true that the haves try to keep the have nots down, is that fair? No, is it a requirement of capitolism? No, just a symptom of greed..."
--I think it is a requirement of capitalism to increase capital. How this is done is irrelevant.
"The capitolist government provides the basic human services for those who are without, does it do a great job? No, not yet. Is that a basic element of capitolism? No. Merely a failure of a government to do what is right."
--But where does the government get the money and resources to provide these basic human services? They have to extract from the domain of capital in the form of taxes. This runs contrary to the aims of the system itself.
"Now, if one looks at socialism, in its most basic forms... If I understand this philosophy correctly, I am supposed to work hard, earn my pay so I can pay the government to give the same services and opportunities to everyone else. All citizens pay the same for food, clothes, fuel, etc., all citizens have the same access to the same goods and services. If I work harder than everyone else I have the same chance of promoting socially, or economically as everyone else, Including the guy next door who sits at the pub all night, and sleeps all day and lets my hard work and tax dollars support him and his family.... this is fair?"
--This seems to be a very common misinterpretation of Marx's famous, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." It is a slogan of the final stage in Marx's outline, of communism, not socialism. In Marx's theory, human nature is neither good nor evil but malleable. Communism is the final stage where work and need become indistinguishable (think Star Trek economy). You work is itself satisfying to you in an age where scarcity is a thing of the past. The issue of fairness doesn't even come into the picture because work is no longer seen as an alienating, mind numbing experience but an enriching one.
This is hard for me to see too but that's how I read him.
"Regardless of the varying definitions one may have of fair I think I like the idea that I have the chance to become rich, or powerful, or famous, or whatever and reap the benefits of my efforts, and not be penalized for my hard work by the government."
--In socialism, each one of these ideas changes.
--to be rich is no longer a goal because it doesn't make any sense
--powerful would be to hold a position in some representative system that is ultimately controlled by those who you have power over (sound familiar?)
--fame, perhaps, would become more important in that esteem would probably matter more.
I think that covers most of my reaction to what you've said here.
"Money in my opinion is what has be come the commodity of survival. Without it you can not express anybiological fitness.
So you see money is our bow, spear, rock etc that we hunt with. THe smarter you were the more food you had and likewise the smarter you are the more money you earn."
--I have to admit that I don't understand this insight. Are you actually equating intelligence with income? It reads almost like a Social Darwinest tract. The best are on top because, well, they are on top.