Tag Archives: Capitalism

Democratic Amendments – Reconsideration of Old Laws

Hello and sorry I haven’t posted anything for a month. Let’s just say it’s been a monumentally awesome holiday without much incentive to sit behind a computer screen.

This is the first of several blog posts where I will build upon my ideas of where democracy and/or mixtures of political systems in the postmodern era should be headed. This includes – but is not limited to – systems either developed exclusively with my noggin or derived from something interesting I saw, which will result in my analysing and critiquing the idea in depth, as opposed to explaining it from scratch. I’ll be using mostly the USA government and systems for convenience, since they seem to set the standard for Western politics along with the UK.

It is my understanding that politicians in a parliamentary meeting tend to waste many an hour month arguing about things that don’t matter, or being on holiday or at home. They typically have a 40 hour workweek, or as they say, an 80 hour biweekly schedule, which allows for flexibility. That is a typical 8 hour work day. As far as I’m concerned, a politician in a high position such as Senator or House Representative should be working harder. After all, the results of their efficiency and decisions have a direct impact on their country, and in the USA’s case, the world, and I believe anyone would agree that these politicians do not exactly have a reputation for ruthless efficiency and remarkable progress through their daily routines. The purpose of this somewhat accusatory rant is to ensure that you, the readers, understand that politicians have the time and energy to do more – and to do it more effectively.

In this first post of such a series, I wanted to outline something simple which outrageously doesn’t exist in any system I know. It stems from the very basic idea of keeping laws simple. One way this can be achieved is by revisiting old laws in order to renew, amend or discard them as needed. Perhaps, a law should only be considered valid for a hundred or so years. Before it expires, it must be revisited by Congress and scrutinised. Perhaps a law governing the industrial age or a First World War agenda carries no relevance today, and as such may impede the country in some way. Not only would this serve to ensure an  up-to-date and relevant legal system, but it would serve to clean up and simplify a country’s unnecessarily convoluted laws.

If there’s anything that destroys a country’s ability to encourage capitalism and individualism, it is an archaic legal system that only serves to hinder its people. Not only does it make the average citizen’s life difficult, but it also provides pathways and loopholes for a government to manipulate its populace. As long as there is a high level of obscurity in law, there will always be criminals and governments alike who will take advantage of the average citizen’s ignorance to achieve their own ends. At the same time, convoluted laws make business difficult. If we wish to live in a globalised capitalist economy, we need easy, simple laws. In corrupt governments, departments may complicate their own laws to achieve that very same objective, making everyday business so difficult that progress through the system is impossible without a degree of bribery to government officials. It is the grim reaper of capitalism.

Remember, whether you agree or disagree, I encourage you to comment if you have anything to add.

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Modern Marxist Mistakes

This is essentially a post about a very typical characteristic of people today who claim to be Marxists, yet still cling to consumerism because it’s simply too convenient to abandon in the name of living up to one’s ideology. So they aren’t Marxists really, just capitalists who complain about capitalism. Also, bear in mind that I’m talking about postmodern, not modern Marxists. The title just worked out nicely.

The grand German Mac daddy of all things communist, Karl Marx. Ironic, considering Germans have always avoided Marxism like the plague.

The grand German Mac daddy of all things communist, Karl Marx. Ironic, considering Germans have always avoided Marxism like the plague.

Here’s my experience of them, which I believe to be quite accurate.
The typical postmodern Marxist is an academic. We all know that students in university tend to be bent far more towards the left than other members of society, probably due to their lifestyle, which is financially humble and also very comfortable and sheltered. Furthermore, a student typically has no fiscal responsibility to anyone except for himself. I believe students are subconsciously conditioned after a couple of years in this environment such that they do not appreciate how different life is in the real world. Thus, socialism, perhaps extreme socialism, might seem more familiar and practical than the life of a suburban middle-class SUV driver. No doubt, they’ll receive a rude awakening when they leave college, start a family, and realise what real financial responsibility is, not to mention that they can no longer depend on their parents if they need new cars. Hence the socialist mentality is gradually replaced by a heavy and more sincere consumerist lifestyle. Ideology matters little when you’re gunning for that new house in that nice neighbourhood. Go figure (six-figure?).

Some of these students become politically ‘Marxist’ before the ideological pathways in their brains are obliterated by their affinity with new, shiny, expensive things. These are, in my opinion, the stereotypical postmodern Marxists. If you are reading this, are a Marxist and do not feel you are accurately represented by the aforementioned description, then I do apologise. One can only experience and understand so much in 18-19 years.

So what are the ideological thoughts of these people? I don’t want a lengthy post, so I’ll stick to the primary cause for their allegiance with socialism, an approach which is fatally flawed. Many of the guys I’ve talked to tend to think capitalism is bad because of its requirement of ‘constant growth’, which I also happen to believe is true. They say that the world’s resources are being depleted by the capitalist consumer, and that this will ultimately plunge the world into chaos once something essential like oil runs out. This is indeed founded on truth. A typical first world consumer, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, might consume several times the electricity, water and food of a typical impoverished person in a third world country.

Here’s where the disagreement (read: fatal flaw) emerges. The postmodern Marxist lives under the delusion that redistributing wealth will somehow cause the world to stop consuming resources.

The problem, however obvious, can be highlighted with the following parable I just made up:

John is a consumer. However, he grows disillusioned with his lifestyle because he consumes far more than he needs to survive, which he feels is wrong. So he participates in a Marxist revolution and the whole world goes communist. Now, John consumes a tenth of what he did before, and what he used to consume is now being shared between five other people whose standard of living has risen in proportion to how much his standard of living has gone down. John is now a fully-fledged Marxist. But he realises too late that, despite having redistributed his resources, the world as a whole is still consuming the same amount of resources and will ultimately run out of something, just as it was going to before, except now the world has no incentive to find a solution, because Marxism is centered on the principle of staying the same, rather than growing. Only now does John realise the absolute necessity of constant, dirty, unfair and unbalanced economic and consumptive growth which is typical of a capitalist system.

The moral of this story is that capitalism does not consume resources: people do. They are not going anywhere, which is why the typical postmodern Marxist is incredibly flawed by blaming capitalism for the fact that resources are being consumed at a phenomenal and indeed unsustainable rate ^_^

This has been (Post)Modern Marxist Mistakes with Savva Pouroullis.

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