Capitalism is self-annihilating, not self-perpetuating

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/02/keeping-score.html

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“Now buy some crap from the Boing Boing store!”

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Where did this whole “Musk is trying to flee to Mars” thing come from? It’s just not true.

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But this is the sort of thing top capitalists have always done – think of Andrew Carnegie and his Carnegie Libraries, Carnegie Institutes, Carnegie-Mellon University, etc. Or Alfred P. Sloan and his eponymous Foundation. You can argue whether this sort of thing is truly altruistic or simply as a way to help ensure posterity will see them as “great men”, but is this really that different from what many kings and emperors of old did? Were they trying to escape Feudalism?

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Maybe he thinks the SEC won’t find him there.

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Stop trying to make ‘living on Mars’ happen, folks.

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I’m actually in favor of them living on Mars, if you can call that living.

Mars would have some harsh lessons to teach.

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not with that attitude. hrrmph. I’d say floating space station or moon colony or asteroid colony would be a more realistic first step.

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A more realistic first step is fostering a livable planet Earth. Without that, all colonies are doomed to failure from word go.

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But then how else can I become a space pirate?!?

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A sidenote, I initially read the title as “cannibalism”, which is also correct, and not that different.

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Nah, I think everyone’s given up on that. There’s a conspiracy afoot where the billionaires are actively trying to destroy earth so everyone not wealthy enough to leave die and aren’t a threat. That’s why the EPA is rolling back all the protections, Bezos, Musk, etc are all working on rockets.

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So am I, coincidentally.

Let them try. Best of luck with all that.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here trying to fix the damage to the planet that already has everything we need to survive, naturally. Take care of home first.

Oh, you are more than welcome to try; feel free.

Join 45’s space force, then go AWOL?

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It’s true, Capitalism is the worst system of resource allocation, outside of every other one that has been tried.

Nothing distributes goods as efficiently as a minimally managed capitalist system. The power of markets to find the best places to distribute goods is unmatched because it scales with volume. Every other system requires too much effort per item and breaks down on large scales.

The problem of course is the positive feedback loop you have from owning capital. Money makes more money, once you have enough money you literally can’t spend it fast enough. Wealth gets stuck at the top and the entire system starts to collapse under its own weight.

The solution isn’t to throw the baby out with the bathwater, it is to have an external entity, and really the only one big enough is the government, tax the shit out of the top of the market and re-inject that wealth back at the bottom. Straight up redistribution. No sugar coating it. If you are a billionaire you are just plain too rich. Either spend that money like a madman or the government takes it and spends it for you on social programs for the poor and middle class.

This is of course a lot easier said than done. It’s not like Jeff Bezos has a checking account with a billion dollars in it. That money is for the most part invested in the market in one way or another. Taxing it means pulling money out of the market and hurting returns. This is painful, but necessary to prevent the system from collapsing.

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All the capitalists I see are trying to win freedom from capitalism, in one way or another. Aren’t they?

No. While they’d never admit it, some of the Dark Enlightenment/neoreactionary types and billionaire super-preppers just see feudalism as the logical end of completely unfettered capitalism. Thiel and Musk and their ilk plan on being the lords and rulers, and if it takes some kind of apocalypse to make it happen they’ll roll with it.

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What are Bezos and Musk doing? Trying to flee to Mars.

I liked it there, but the place lacked some atmosphere.

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It’s coming again,
It can’t be stopped…

It feels good though, doesn’t it.

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first there was tribalism, and we escaped it, then feudalism, and we escaped that — today now there’s capitalism, which we’re currently trying to escape, all over again

I find this part very interesting. In that pattern, the common thread is us. Maybe we’re the issue, not capitalism. Maybe it’s our nature to constantly strive to escape systems. Buddhists might say that what we’re really trying to escape is life itself.

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Life on Mars was a great musical endeavor. Physically living on Mars is an unrealistic pipe dream, which cannot be feasibly accomplished at this point… not even with the most cutting-edge, advanced technology that humanity has at its disposal.

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I already did my tour for my country. And I did it under two presidents I respected (George Sr and Clinton).

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