Discussion in 'Economics' started by nitro, Oct 6, 2009.
Are we in Late Stage Capitalism?
What we had before TARP was "Naturalistic Capitalism".
What we have now is "Structured Capitalism"
I assume you get the drift....
No, we are a long way from that scenario, if indeed it exists. We can engineer the perfect currency trauma in order to modify the structure of global exchange via a progressive evolution toward a world divided into 4 regions and 4 currencies, potentially followed by a one world currency.
Once that is achieved anything is possible, including Late Stage Capitalism.
Marx was great at diagnosing the problem. Like a doctor that figures out not only what the disease is, but how it will ultimately progress. This, he was good at.
Unfortunately, his cure never quite worked. He naively thought that his solution would not involve an eventual self interested oligarchy. Ironically, that which he combatted (a self nterested oligarchy) emerges much faster in a communist system than it does in a capitalist system.
Overall, all systems trend towards oligarchy. It is the ultimate economic collapse that cleans the system out and starts the race anew.
Hey, we had a better ride than the Soviets. Maybe those pesky Swedes are onto something? A little combination of both systems?
Indeed, Marx has often been criticized for his political thinking and a lot of that criticism may well be justified.
But how modern history played out after Marx, is not just a product of what went on in Marx's head or Lenin's head or even Stalin's head. So much is due to historical circumstances.
For example after the WWI, the Bolshevik revolution and the Russian civil war, Russia was in a shocking state. Not just in a shocking state, but most importantly, alone in the world surrounded by external enemies. Such a set of circumstances is highly conducive to authoritarian rule. And eventually that becomes a way of life.
Or more recently, consider how much the dominant place of the United States post WWII is due to historical circumstances, rather than some supposed "American Exceptionalism". In reality only one country won WWII, and that was the US. It was essentially the only major industrialized nation left standing. The Soviet Union lost maybe fifty times as many dead as the US. Europe and Japan were in ruins. The US was largely isolated from the war by geographical location, it's labour force and industrial infrastructure largely intact after the war, a large population and plentiful natural resources. Post 1945, the US was in the driving seat to organize the world in it's own interests.
So if we look a little deeper than just some crude comparison of the former Soviet Union and the US, it seems that issues of democracy/autocracy are just a wee bit more complex than some would have us believe. And above all, historical circumstance is critical.
It is interesting to speculate what the political landscape in the US might look like today if the US had suffered the same kinds of horrors as Russia did in the 20th century. How far would the political/economic elite in the US have gone to protect it's interests from external/internal threat?
DCRAIG wrote "Not just in a shocking state, but most importantly, alone in the world surrounded by external enemies. Such a set of circumstances is highly conducive to authoritarian rule. And eventually that becomes a way of life."
Or just as importantly, the "PERCEPTION" of being surrounded by enemies, foreign OR domestic.
That works too. I fear that no big country can adequately rule a large population and land mass the way, say a country like Sweden can. Freedom will ultimately suffer. I see Russia, China, and India ultimately being run the same way. Authoritatively.
I agree dcraig. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were a great buffer. But so too was the geology- the US mineral rich in gold and oil. Actually the US was the world's leading exporter of oil well into the 1950s. Another nudge for American Exceptionalism.
Great Britain too, was a power that could outlast the franco and prussian wars, She had the North sea, the Atlantic, and the English channel for safety. As Europe burned by Napolean, Bismark, etc... she was isolated and did not lose the same economically that many other countries did during centuries of European Wars. Imagine the combined costs of invasions for continental europe during modern times. That's a HUGE cost. It wasn't until the German bombers of WWII and Hitler's V1 rockets did Britain taste what European war really was like.
If Germany was an island, my bet is that Germany would have been as powerful - more so - than England was and well before Hitler's rise. Just an example of german ingenuity - if it weren't for the capture of German Scientists after WWII by the USSR and the US - the space race would have been Germany's to win. Daimler and Benz were the true automobile engineers. Hitler really screwed up that country and set Germany back big time. England, though, IMHO, has some blame for helping create Hitler with the punitive treay of Versaille.
In the long run.. and yeah, I'm getting off topic here, I will not be surprised to see Germany be the anchor of the EU and Russia with her vast resources uniting with Germany - either entering the EU or partnering along the lines of a NAFTA type arrangement. I see Europe getting de-anglicized and emerging anew.
The US still has incredible resources, but it's role diminished. Too many people have the same mentality of the 1950s. It's a different world. The rest have caught up.
Sounds a bit like the US today actually.
Make no mistake. the early Soviet Union was surrounded by very real enemies, starting with the foreign intervention into the civil war.
This is exactly right...
Marx was one of the most insightful and capable theorists the field of political economy ever produced. However, his theories/models, while more powerful and compelling than many others, proved to be a somewhat imperfect fit to reality.
Science is incremental, however, and his thinking was a giant step fwd, no matter how you slice it.
Separate names with a comma.