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MOVING FORWARD: Part 5 - Capitalism is broken (but fixable)

Thanks for staying with me, FanBoxers -- and for engaging each other in the comments of these posts.

It seems that our cause has attracted some very smart people...

.... passionate & articulate intellectuals that appear to have what's necessary to lead us through the twists & turns that are headed our way.

This is good!

We cannot move forward without you, as it will take much thinking, discussion and argument to make the best decisions and find the most optimal path forward. 
 

Let's summarize what we've discussed thus far:

In part 1, we discussed how it's time to move on to the next chapters of FanBox's evolution, including the installation of democratic features -- in order to continue on our path of becoming the world's first truly free online community -- owned and operated by the world's people.

In part 2, we reminded ourselves of what the PURPOSE of this free community is.... which is why we're here.

Our Mission is to:
       Uplift humanity by enabling Opportunity

In part 3, we then moved on to discuss how there are no prizes for being the first to think of an idea. In order to increase our chances of succeeding at our mission, we'll take a different approach -- that of careful research and discussion...

.... learning from what has worked and failed in the development of other communities:  Countries.

(This strategy is called "Embrace and Extend")

In part 4, we discussed how it's important for our organization to have focus; to try and solve one thing - instead of trying to solve lots of things....

... and to accomplish our mission, that one thing for the FanBox community, is more money for our community members:  

Virtually all our talents, time and resources will be focused on creating financial opportunities for FanBoxers - so they can uplift themselves. 

And finally, in attempting to look at what has worked and what has not - in the area of financial opportunities for the community - we recognize that capitalism has been the best approach thus far.

------------------

Capitalism, however, is not perfect.

If capitalism is perfect, then why is the gap between the rich and poor growing at such a rapid pace?

MOVING FORWARD: Part 5 - Capitalism is broken

Take note of the top (blue) line.

As you can see, most of the new wealth is going to the top 1%...

… and not to the other 99%.


This graph is for the United States: 
 

But if you take a look at almost all other countries, you’ll find very similar results are happening there too.

If you believe, like almost everyone does, that the strength and longevity of a society boils down to its ability to cultivate and grow its middle class…

… then clearly, something’s not right.

  

We’re headed to a very, VERY bad place:

As the rich get richer while the poor get poorer...

... and because the number of poor vastly outnumber the rich...

... at some point the poor will rise up and destroy the very institutions that society depends on. 

The result might be that the military will need to get involved.

Martial law leads to tyranny, dictatorship and the very opposite of democracy.

And the world will have lost so much of the democratic systems and institutions that it gained in the last century.

In the earlier parts of this multi-post blog, some of our citizens spoke up about capitalism.

They seem to all agree that:

1) it’s the best system that has come up thus far, but
2) it needs to be tweaked to work properly.

The bottom line is that, like all complex systems, capitalism needs some optimizations to work more effectively.

Without such optimizations, small minorities of the strongest and luckiest are tempted to modify the system to benefit themselves. 

Those modifications can result in more strength for the strong; and less opportunities for the weak.

Over time, even more modifications (designed to benefit themselves) are added to the system, by those most capable of financing such adjustments.

This cycle continues until there is hardly anything left but two classes: the strong and the weak.

In other words, the irony of it all is that unfettered capitalism ultimately results in exactly what we have come to know as fascism, tyranny, dictatorship or communism.

Let’s start over!

Wouldn’t it be great if your country could “start over” – from the beginning – and create a better version of capitalism – using all that we have learned over the last hundred years?

 

Great news!

As a new community, at FanBox, together we DO have the opportunity to “start over”!

Please share your thoughts below.

Next, we'll discuss how to fix capitalism -- by looking at what the core of the problem is.

809 Comments
:

Deborah Rolon

I have to think hard on this one, I think FanBox has already done this...equal opportunity and distributing to those who work hard....more thought later.

85 months ago
Tivadar Balázs

For the time being it seems to me the FanBox is an opportunity for those that have some money to invest but it is not a place to earn from labor really...

85 months ago
Tivadar Balázs

Well, I have not recieved the SC interface so I cannot earn from that. Otherwise it just takes much much longer as I hoped at first. However it is still an opportunity...

84 months ago
D Poet Rhumour

Communal Capitalism might perhaps describe the necessary evolution to arrive at a system which might work across all existing national borders.

Given that the internet has, due to less regulation than conventional society, been building an alternative structure to the nationalist systems that have artificially kept people from perceiving that we are all dependent upon each other, we do now have a framework upon which to build such a system.

FanBox has already laid the foundations by adopting the 'pool' principle for revenues earned by the site and arranging for millions of members to have a share in that pooled resource.

That is the basis on which Communal Capitalism can succeed where other attempts to 'tweak' capitalism have failed. Even though we currently have international trading agreements and the structures that should allow those to provide an effective redistribution of resources to end poverty, those have failed due to the inertia created by the current wealthy elements who effectively impede every attempt.

Building a bigger community here in FanBox will bring the potential of Communal Capitalism to a bigger cross section of world society - with the very real potential to bring about more balance in wealth distribution since the pool is not limited by existing boundaries of nations or class.

The current limitation is the lack of connection to the internet for millions more people who could benefit from the extra income, Perhaps that could be addressed by 'village hubs' - which would be internet centres designated to act for local areas.

There is a lot to do to bring about such facilities - but the main limitation is not money, it has until now been resistance to change.

One limitation is that the computers of the world are still largely perceived as being dependent upon an operating system (Windows) that is a product of a single company - a triumph of marketing over technology. That supremacy is being more seriously challenged today than at any other time - with 'open source' developments of Linux that have supplanted windows in some countries by virtue of government policies to save huge amounts from their IT bills in schools, etc.

Android based systems are another big force behind the act that windows has been left behind by the enormous growth of mobile computing devices - tablets, smartphones, etc are making bigger changes to how people access the internet now than laptops and WiFi hotspots will ever do - and the implementation of 4G networks for mobile devices will accelerate that change and the term 'cloud computing' will be familiar to many now as we adapt to having cloud based applications rather than installing and continually updating software on our desktop and laptop machines.

That is also pivotal, since the technology to utilise cloud computing is based more around browsers than operating systems and cheaper hardware can therefore be used instead of constantly racing to upgrade. That cheaper hardware, possibly using the Google Chrome OS will have more reliability due to use of solid state drives instead on conventional motorised drives. Thus it has the potential to work in harsher environments with lower power sources, probably solar or wind power to enable those village hubs I referred to previously.

By completing the world community network we then have infrastructure needed to bring the Knowledge Revolution to every corner of the world and achieve that notion of Uplifting Humanity.

The power is then in the hands of the many, not the few rich people - it is technology that can breach the existing status quo - and a mix of hardware, software and community spirit that will bring about the change Capitalism needs to make it fit for purpose. Capitalism may be seen by some as dying - but it can evolve and Community Capitalism in such a form is the way it will evolve if we can exclude those that will seek to 'spoil' that change,

85 months ago
Alex Aurora

Well, the problem is I think we've gotten into a very vicious cycle in thinking about the relationship between business and society. And really, the purpose of capitalism, and the benefits of the capitalist system to society, and to meeting society's needs-- needs like improving people's lives, and improving the health of communities.
We've gotten into a cycle where, I think, business has evolved and thinking about business management has evolved, in a direction that we've narrowed the scope of how you create economic value. And increasingly, companies are being perceived as creating profit at the expense of the community, not creating profit that actually ultimately benefits the communities!!!!
The basic premise of my message is that we once thought if business just increases its profit, what's good for business is then good for society. I'm trying to say is, we need to kind of think differently.
What's good for society is actually good for business.
And that sounds like a play on words, but it's really quite a profound difference in perspective.

I would love to hear what others have to say as well - I was born in a communist country (ex Yugoslavia) and as the communist system broke the whole country fell apart, lead to war...and it cannot get worse than that..

85 months ago
Marius B)

Just copy/ pasted my opinion from the previous discussion about this topic with the SC's. Wish you all to enjoy:

Freely translated:

Henry Ford, we all know him said:

''It is good, that the citizens of our nation do not understand our bank and financial system,
cause otherwise, if they'd understand, I think there would be a revolution – before tomorrow morning.''

This understanding starts way deeper. There is no need to become all aware how the financial system works, even though it is not too complicated at all. It just tricky with all the wrong informations around us.

Criticizing banks as the bad guys is easy, and of course when doing that you are not pointing at the wrong one. But I don't want to do bank-bashing 101 here.

But again the understanding starts way deeper. It starts with a self-reflection of our own basic approaches and goals. 

Would love to talk about this more, but let's get to JC's question:

Is capitalism perfect?

Uhhhyeahhh love that question, my Man! Btw thanks Johnny for your encouraging comment for my last comment in your last post of the Road Ahead. Ok I will continue...

The Internet has evolved to a new sensory organ, a work place, a living place and the world realizes more, day after day: Education is Thinking.

And by this I mean the ability to think creative, which you can only do when you are free in your choice of thinking. 

No money in this world can buy a truly genuine creative thought.

Sorry I translate freely from german to english as I want to cite Francis Bacon: 

''Above all you need good politics, so that the treasures of the world and its money won't find itself in the hands of only few. Otherwise a state can be rich and break himself.
Money is like dung: it stinks when it is not spread out.''

The most powerful thought behind the capitalistic system lies in the liberation of the human being, through the society he lives in, to unleash his creativity.

Yet, in its current version, capitalism promotes rather materialistic and individual aspects.
Thus it prevents deeper thinking & true collaboration.

And the results are like in a game I used to play before: Fatality. As we are experiencing it.

Every single attempt to do something good for our society has to begin with our very own thinking.

We can only think clear if we can see ourselves objectively. Pride, jealousy, desire are the reasons for our competive ways.

And the root of this all is Fear. The fear of each other.

In order to overcome this fear we have to free ourselves from our wrong conclusions.

From the wrong conclusion that we are the measure of all things.
From the wrong conclusion of our very own prejudices.
From the wrong conclusion of the market place, which gives a false higher truth to the generally valid views of the contemporaneity. 
Finally also by the wrong conclusion of the theatre, which lets not see the dogmas trumpeted by the institutions or religions as the fashionable and interchangeable sceneries they are.

We cannot allow ourselves to idolize somebody or anybody. No.

That would lead to a starcult. No. This would eventually lead us to loosing contact to ourselves.

No. That would be distorting. Hope you are feeling me.

Hope this topic is not over cause I want to write more, but I can't because I am not yet too well but feeling better and so so tired right now.

There is so much to talk about like new forms of governance and economics or the future of science.

This is very exciting.

85 months ago
Aftab Ahmad

Good think of you johney cash. This graph not only for USA. This is also for Pakistan. In here fanbox, we together work hard and find the solution of these problems.

85 months ago
Just Jeff

Yes. Capitalism is broken, because most people are broke and people and big corporations are imperfect and greedy, especially when it comes to business and economics. But FanBox has the power to teach the poor and middleclass how to earn money to feed and shelter their families. Users of FanBox simply need to open their minds to the possibilities and earning potential that is here. Many users understand this concept, and that is heartening. But many many newbies do not understand how FanBox can be a money machine for them and their loved ones, and that is disheartening.

Capitalism on FanBox and in general is based around the accumulation of capital, whereby financial capital is invested in order to realize a profit and then reinvested into further production in a continuous process of accumulation. From a monetary standpoint, governments control just how much money is in circulation worldwide, which plays an immense role on how money is spent in one's own country. The same will be true in a democratic FanBox government. The accumulation of capital here refers to the process of "making money", or growing an initial sum of money through investment in production.

Austrian School economists have argued that capitalism can organize itself into a complex system without an external guidance or central planning mechanism. Friedrich Hayek considered the phenomenon of self-organization as underpinning capitalism. Prices serve as a signal as to the urgent and unfilled wants of people, and the promise of profits gives entrepreneurs, such as those on FanBox, incentive to use their knowledge and resources to satisfy those wants. Thus the activities of millions of people on FanBox, each seeking his own interest, are coordinated through a logical,computerized economic system.

85 months ago
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