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Monday, March 30, 2009 

WAKE UP and smell the coffee - Free Market Capitalism Has Failed!

In 1989, the theory of 'planned economies' failed and Soviet 'commune_ism' crumbled. The forces of 'free-market capitalism' shouted for joy and anointed themselves the 'winner' in the hard fought competition for supremacy as the world's ideal economic system.

Radical 'free-marketers' were emboldened and demanded that even more of their capitalist ideology be adopted and that markets be fully unfettered by regulation and public interference. They demanded that the 'yoke' of taxation be removed from both business and the wealthy. The 'trickle-down' was trumpeted as the solution to all of the world's economic woes and inequalities.

Well .. so much for that crap! Here we are in 2009, twenty years after the fall of communism, and we are witnessing the failure of the other economic 'extreme' - unfettered, unregulated free-market capitalism.

This 'binary' world view which sees Capitalism VS Communism as the only solution is short sighted and simplistic.

But take heart! Over the decades that Communism and Capitalism fought it out, a more balanced economic vision was quietly being articulated by Social Democrats all over the world. Social Democrats are totally committed to democracy but they envision an economy where:
-private enterprise,
-public enterprise
-cooperative enterprise

jointly work to bring about a more balanced environment for equitable, universal economic prosperity to occur. The goal is a 'just society' that is NOT 'just for the rich'!

Yes I am on the left side of the political spectrum, but I am not on the extreme left which advocated the failed system of communism. I believe that free-enterprise capitalism is a key and crucial part of a balanced economy. But I am also a strong advocate of Crown corporations and other public enterprise where the profits are poured back into government coffers to be used for the benefit of the people. Social Democracy provides public benefits like free public health care, which I and other Canadians enjoy as a right of our citizenship. It is a system which is far superior to a solely capitalist view of private health care where the wealthy get medical service and the poor do not.

Those of you who think that an unfettered, unregulated free-market is the solution to the economic ills of the world are living in an illusion.

Your ideology has failed just as surely as communism has failed.

Balance ... is what is needed.

The 'free-marketers' have been screwed as much as anybody else. Only we know it; they don't. They still harbour the illusion that they were calling the shots. Poor sods!

I clearly disagree lefdog...we do not have,nor have we had a "free market" so it cannot have failed.

What we have had has been at best "economic fascism" where the big corporations get the government to create regulations in their favour, or to pass other laws and restrictions on trade and commerce and then turn around and tell you that is the free market.

A free market would simply be free, voluntary trade between individuals and groups, with no taxation, no regulations (other than the natural regulation of the market itself) and no restrictions except that all transactions be voluntary and non-coercive (or fraudulent).

When have we ever really had that in the last 100 years? Ever?

Whom ever is currently refering to our system of state capitalism as the "free market" is not only wrong, but lying - vulgar libertarians as we call it. Or worse, a follower of Milton Friedman.

Mike .... you can also say that Communism was not truly 'commune_ism' - it was at best 'economic fascism' where the Communist Party got the 'government' to do the same thing.

So - we had fascism of the Left (and it failed) as well as fascism of the Right (and it has clearly failed).

You are inadvertently moving attention away from my discussion of Social democracy by going after 'capitalism' ..

When you talk about 'government' in your post, you neglect to point out that it is government of Capitalists for Capitalists.

I am arguing for a government of Social Democrats (not communists or capitalists) whose priority is the ..... people.

There never was free market capitalism, and there never will be. Capitalism was built by laws and regulations backed by the state. Corporations were protected by the state. Capitalism - in all its alleged forms is nothing more than the state socialism of the rich.

What we have had is a form of state corporatism that cut down on those aspects of government that helped ordinary people and gave the wealth to the rich in the form of corporate welfare, piratizations etc. This class-selective statism, the ideologues of capital branded "free market capitalism." Just liker their Ponzi-scheme economy it was all a total fraud.

Don't get fooled by their lingo, go beneath the surface to see what these crooks are actually doing!

Leftdog,

But by definition it can't be 'free market' or laissez-faire, if there is any state or government interference causing the market to distort. So while it might still be 'capitalism' it isn't 'free market capitalism'.

I would advocate getting rid of the state and government period. Let the PEOPLE be for the people. Let them trade and interact voluntarily, including not-for-profit, cooperative ways. People will do it, it given the chance.

I don't think we need a state of any kind to take care of one another, we merely need to trade voluntarily and have recourse to redress when we are wronged. And we can have that without a state too.

I mean, if its morally bad for the 'Capitalists' to use the power of the state to steal my money and use it in ways I do not support or approve of, how is it ok for the 'Social Democrats' to do the same thing?

Well Mike .... your arguments do nothing but allow the status quo to remain in place. The one third of Canadians who vote for Harper continue to do so because people like you and I, who try to offer an alternative, cannot get over our own internal haggling.

"I don't think we need a state of any kind to take care of one another ... " Yeah - that really helps when we try to shift people away from the idiocy of voting 'Conservative'.

Nothing does more to ensure that things stay as they are than for voices on the progressive side of the equation (guys like you and me) to bog down in semantics and definitions which leave our fellow citizens confused and baffled.

Thanks a bunch!

You are welcome!

;)

Look, I'm not disagreeing with your main thesis about the "capitalists" but I have to defend truth and nothing about this bunch is remotely free market. Its more than mere semantics. I want a wider variety of options for progressives than merely "vote Liberal" or "vote NDP" or "vote Green" or whatever.

And I want people not just to stop voting Conservative, but to stop voting. Period. For anybody.

For me, from the progressive side, I think that if we stop playing the game and offer alternative that are not the government, we will be farther ahead. Cut out the middleman (the government) and go right to heart of the issue - instead of paying my taxes to support things I don't agree with then complaining about it, how about just not doing that and giving the money instead directly to those causes I do agree with? Imagine if everyone did that?

I'm more about direct action than voting anyway.

The most recent AP poll found that 52% of North American adults LITERALLY believe that Jesus will descend to earth on a fluffy white cloud in THEIR lifetime!

Good luck with your theories on the sanity, competence and intelligence of your fellow citizens! (Especially when you said, "I would advocate getting rid of the state and government period. Let the PEOPLE be for the people. Let them trade and interact voluntarily, including not-for-profit, cooperative ways. People will do it, if given the chance.")

(Most, not all) people, given the opportunity, will pursue greed and short-sighted tactics. The libertarian idealist market cannot prevent global warming, it will only cause more people to fight over less land.

Leftdog is right (or more correctly left) and it's time for people to not work against each other as any market system (even an anarchic system) would have us do, but to work together for mutual prosperity.

I agree with you but I don't know how to convince the people with money and power.
The Campbell government in BC is selling our rivers, our water and the NAFTA agreements will leave us thoroughly screwed unless the NDP is elected in May.
Please see Save Our Rivers.ca

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