Teen Vogue explains capitalism

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/11/increasingly-relevant.html


Unless people give up on the ridiculous Ayn Randian utopia with a plot as silly as any Fast and Furious movie, we’re definitely going to be living in Mad Max-style hellscape. Then again, I’m a disillusioned gen Xer.


Remember that utopia literally means no place, which is exactly where there has been a functional libertarian-capitalist region. Some forms of libertarian-socialism (a much older philosophy) have managed to be functional though, currently in Rojava and Chiapas. Neither are perfect, yet they show a path to somewhere far better than where we are right now.

Quite simply, we need socialism to avoid a mad-max hellscape, and there are many ways to achieve socialism.


I just want a little bit of socialism. Like, maybe some ground rules to keep people from screwing over other people completely and some taxes on wealth to pay for services essential to human life. Is that really so much to ask?


Apparently…yes it is way too much to ask. /s


I feel like the right is trying to win this argument by making it sound like everyone on the left wants total communism and no ownership of property. When really most of what we want is a protection of the sort of protections and services implemented by Theodore and franklin Roosevelt updated for the modern era.


Yes, but nobody believes them. Manufactured outrage might get the base riled up, but nobody actually believes what they hear on Fox. They just think of it as ways to pwn the libs - talking points.


Maybe they don’t believe what they are saying, but there are far too many in their audience who do believe them.


" , China, India, and Cuba are examples of modern socialistic, non-capitalist countries, as was the former Soviet Union. "

I’m not sure how much China fits into that category anymore. Conservatives like to ask “show me one communist country that wasnt also a dictatorship” and that’s a valid point, but there have been at least as many capitalist dictatorships, and communism/socialism hasn’t been around as long-- rather than give up we should keep trying to get it right.

“Many other countries like Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands incorporate socialist ideas into their societies, as does the United States to some degree; for example, universal health care and Social Security are both socialistic concepts.”

That’s the main thing to remind people, a “little bit of socialism” is probably the best way to save capitalism from itself. We can still have a market driven economy, just not one that occasionally goes crazy like a wild stallion stung by a bee.


Libertarian socialism has always had that sincethe ideas were developed the 19th century, and before that in proto-socialist groups like the Diggers.

You could have that, but why do we need millionaires in the first place? Why not try limits on wages, executives can only earn ten times than what the lowest paid employee/contractor earns (this is just an arbitrary amount, the point is to stop runaway poverty and plutocracy)? Like I said, there are many ways of having socialism.

One of the things they do is conflate personal property with private property. You house and everything in it is personal property. your workplace is private property. Wanting private property to become communal property does not mean that people should be able to take your personal property away from you


I would just be thrilled if the right finally acknowledged that we already live in a certain degree of socialism with interstate highway system, bureaus of weights and measures (so we have a reliable measure of what a gallon of gas is), NOAA, etc. They seem to be selectively blind to these things and their leaders treat it as theater.


So I ( age 24 in less than a week ) work at Amazon as a grunt, I’ll get a pay out of 3 to 4 k if I manage to stay until the end of the year from their stock plan. I still plan on throwing that into a mutual fund. Even if I eventually get to live out my retirement in a more stable welfare net it’s always nice to still have some extra cash.

And I don’t believe people under 30 are investing in stock driven vehicles simply because socialism but also 1: the education system doesn’t teach us these things 2: we go to college to learn it (MAYBE) and end up in debt (as to point out the thing about us being broke) 3: we have financial crisis in the back of our minds so we rather not (and most don’t understand that the bank bailout wasn’t an outright bail out, that money was paid back)


I mean I guess, but I don’t think you need to go to those extreme steps to create a just society. I’m ok with there being millionaires and people owning businesses. You don’t need to do away with those to help people out. Setting real living wages and using progressive taxes to ensure healthcare and education would really do most of that.


I mean maybe we should have single payer healthcare and free college and some standards about living wage and working conditions. I don’t think we need government control of small businesses. The later thing no one is really even proposing but the Fox News crowd are already painting that picture as something democrats want and I feel like we fall to easily into that strawman trap when we keep using the word socialism. I just want a new square deal. You know what I mean?


But did the millionaires really earn tens to hundreds of times more money that the people who work for them?

And that is where we find the misunderstanding. Libertarian socialism does not want the government owning small businesses. it makes far more sense for those to be worker’s co-operatives.

Socialism does not have to mean state ownership, despite what Republicans and Tankies want you to think.


Why shouldn’t bigger companies be co-operatives too?


They should, but the quote was about small businesses.


Not China, India, and Cuba, more like Sweden, Denmark, Norway.


So true! They always say “what about Venezuela?” But nobody is advocating that (and the reasons for Venezuela’s issues are unique to them and related t international capitalism and US foreign policy.

People are proposing moderate corporate socialism like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, and a host of other countries have has successfully for years. But people who see the ACA as tyranny and socialism cannot be reasoned with, so they should be ignored.

If we could go back to the basic ground rules, retirement, tax rates, and corporate salary differentials that existed in the 1950s and add some modern racial and gender equality and single payer healthcare, that’s hardly a Stalinist hellscape.


I agree with you mostly - but when a 2 bedroom apartment in NYC costs an average $1.2M and a small single family house in the Bay Area, Vancouver, Toronto, or NYC Metro area costs well north of a million dollars, you need to be a “millionaire” to afford a place to live.

So there are broader patterns that need to be addressed at the same time as wage inequality