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CokeSnortingTory

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Everything posted by CokeSnortingTory

  1. There have been plenty of examples of pre-complex societies that have created a surplus ("wealth") without it resultuing in any trading system or increase in complexity whatsoever. For some reason they didn't need to, or it simply didn't occur to them. In pre-complex societies there usually isn't a market at all - all goods are pooled and then shared out in as egalitarian a manner as possible, and this is enforced by the unspoken rules of tribal etiquette. When societies are at the level of complexity where they extensively trade, then they are usually also at the stage where some kind of state manifests itself - no doubt partly to regulate the aforesaid trade (standardisation of weights and measures, enforcement of payment etc.)
  2. You're putting the cart before the horse. A "low" standard of living results in a stateless society. Stateless societies are the norm. Whether we "regress" or not is not always our choice.
  3. The Kalahari Bushmen live in a stable, fair, stateless egalitarian society. I'm amazed that so many HPC'ers don't join them instead of banging away on the internet. I think they're just too lazy to chase after gazelles.
  4. 99% of human history has been stateless - most hunter gatherer and small-scale agricultural societies are stateless, and are generally extremely egalitarian. Complex states of the sort that we now live in are the exception rather than the norm of human history. States are generally considered to arise through one of two theories: i) Confrontation theory - the state arises to protect the gains of an elite once a surplus has been established. ii) Integration theory - the state arises to co-ordinate the increasing complexity of a society that has adopted specialised roles to deal with internal and/or external challenges. Ironically (in the context of this thread) confrontation theories are favoured by both Marxists and extreme Libertarians (Marxism is essentially a confrontation theory leavened by an immanisation of Christian eschatology), although they are dismissed by integrationists for their psychological reductionism, in that the self-interest of the "elite" is never explained except as a kind of ontological inevitability, despite the absence of this characteristic in pre-complex societies. However, there has never been a complex society with numerous occupational roles without some form of co-ordinating state.
  5. Actually the problem is that people read too much Mises, Hayek and Marx, and not enough Toynbee, Spengler or Tainter. Well, people lived in stable, civilised societies for thousands of years before the invention of either capitalism or socialism, so I don't know why you feel the need to offer this false binary.
  6. Because the Government are much weaker now, and it has taken time for the managerialist culture to be discredited. If the teachers' strike leads to the ejection of the administrators and their consultants, then it'll save you tax money. It's a win-win for both the public and private sectors (except the consultants of course).
  7. This site basically tries to convince people that the two following hard facts of life can be somehow circumvented: 1. The future is inherently unpredictable, and 2. All investment is gambling Anyone who believes any kind of tosh that disregards these two points deserves all they get.
  8. Oh come on yelims. You know I'm one of the most fun-packed posters on this site. The "bleakness" that awaits neoliberal capitalism is a direct inversion of the fun we'll have rediscovering old skills and friendships when it's gone.
  9. Yeah I did this on page 1. But people still want to believe. Perhaps this is the function of contemporary Economics - as a kind of pseudo-religion in a belief-free world.
  10. Well, imbalances aren't inevitable in the fiat system - the GINI index varies hugely between countries that operate fiat. The differences appear to be cultural - Scandinavians are far more in favour of redistribution (via taxes) than Americans for example. Your system, like all theoretical systems, sound fine, but I suspect that firstly there will be problems with it that will be unforeseeable before it is put into practice, and secondly that cultural differences would soon pervert it into what suits the prevailing cultural idioms of the countries that adopt it i.e. after 50 years, the Scandinavian version will be unrecognisable from the American one.
  11. I'm not sure this answers hotairmail's point, which seems to be about the tendency to hoard, which is essentially a problem of human nature, and would therefore need to be addressed politically rather than economically. Surely the tendency of individuals to hoard, and then to leverage their hoardings in terms of political power, would manifest itself whether you trade in fiat, gold, goats, seashells etc.? Indeed, I wonder whether what a lot of people seem to want on this site, which is some kind of economic system that runs perfectly by itself if not interfered with, is a kind of pipedream in itself - like the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. And conversely, can any kind of economic system (within reason) work if those using it are sufficiently motivated enough to police it and ensure that it isn't exploited. Is the search for an ideal economic system ultimately symptomatic of our inherent laziness?
  12. Well, I wasn't making a point about complexity necessarily - just the fundamental assumptions on which Western economics is based. From what I know of Von Mises he championed efficient markets as the best way to distribute capital for investment, and there's a fundamental assumption of progress in there, even if not explicitly stated. Also, I'm not sure his ideal model can ever be properly be put into practice in our grubbly, compromising world.
  13. I didn't say I approved of it though, did I? If I make the critique that "progress" is essential to the western mindset, it surely means that I question the rationale behind the need for such "progress". Any more nonsense like this and I'm going to start being very rude to you.
  14. Your head interpreted my words to fit in with the paradigms that are dominant in your head.
  15. This is a bit incoherent. What do you mean by "they use your words to explain that they are allowing prgress"?
  16. I would say that a debt based monetary system is a direct result of the need for progress. When western man arrives at a limitation, he needs to find a way, any way, to surpass that limitation. Even if it means conjuring money from thin air.
  17. It's a philosophical one primarily. Western man needs the future to be better than today. Progress and all that. That's how capitalists and communists both sell their systems.
  18. Adam Smith, Marx, Rand, Von Mises, Keynes - they all start from the same basic philosophical position - that Western man is on a road of endless progress to infinity and beyond. They just disagree about how to distribute the spoils. All their followers are going to be disappointed by the age of contraction.
  19. I've long suspected that there's been a kind of gentlemen's agreement between ourselves and Germany in which we do the finance and they do the production. I think Europe is too small to have more than one major producer, and there would be all sorts of tensions between the UK and Germany if both countries were full-on manufacturing competitors. I know that after the ERM sterling devaluation, the company I used to work for, which made diesel engines, had their products vandalised in German Customs when the low pound started putting domestic German engine manufacturers under duress. The binary surplus/deficit global model has had the benefit of thus far easing global tensions, even though it was long-term unworkable.
  20. Yes, this is America's biggest disadvantage. Despite their global corporations, their all-powerful military, their abundant reources and geographical security, they will end up being undone by the fact that a huge proportion of them are total fruit loops.
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