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Comments on Socialism or Capitalism ? Can both be right ?

    Gerard Kanters

    Socialism or Capitalism ? Can both be right ?

    By Gerard Kanters Comments (14)
    Socialism or Capitalism ? Can both be right ?
    Recent studies indicate that progressive tax increase helps rich countries.
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    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Hi Gerard, I thought I'd take a swipe at Davos recenty with a question about ecosocialism. The point I was trying to make is that what goes on outside Davos is way ahead of their thinking. I offer a quote from our 2009 presentation to the economics for ecology conference at Sumy, Ukraine:

      "The prevailing economics systems in the twentieth century were capitalism and communism.  Both systems were hypothetically aimed at creating a means of providing people with comfortable, safe and secure life.

      Along the way, in the process of attempting different forms of economics from capitalism to communism, we have managed to pollute and contaminate our own environment to the extent of causing environmental change to the point of quite possible catastrophe for people around the world.  Neither the capitalist system nor the communist system – nor the various fascist systems attempted in such as Germany, Spain and Italy – lived up to their promises.  Communist and fascist systems became infamous for mass murder.  The Western capitalist was less murderous. Overall, capitalism was able to produce a much larger middle class of people between rich and poor, and has gained precedence due to making safe and secure life possible for more people.   But, it's various methods over the past 100 years left millions of people to suffer and die more indirectly than outright murder.  Those people were dismissed as relatively unimportant, mostly left to die from deprivation rather than outright execution.  In all systems, some rationale was created to either dismiss people and leave them to die, or, kill people outright.  In the end, for the victims, the result was identical.

      In that context of disposing of people, by all economic systems, and with capitalism having become predominant, financial profit came to rule the day.  Profit, the bottom line, was master of all else.  People and the environment we live in were secondary considerations.  The vehicle of Western capitalism was, and is, corporations."


      Is ecosocialism a dirty word at Davos?


      Today there is broad agreement that we need something better than capitalism to save our planet. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, cl...

    • Gerard Kanters
      By Gerard Kanters

      Interesting point your making, allthough you might be right about the silent killing and predominant financial goals of capitalism and the more visible bruteness of the other major systems, it is probably due to human nature and not the systems itself.

      Our first priority is to survive as a person and as a group and we care less about other species or (human) groups outside our circles.

      I had to check wikipedia on what ecosocialism stands for as an ideology. I see  a lot of things they are against, but not sure what the solution is proposed to be.

      I agree that globalisation has certain risks of abuse, as any major source of power has. It has clear benefits too, wealth is more distributed over the world, not in equal sizes but it is still the driving force behind emerging economies.

      And for the eco part I wrote an article on how both financial systems as well as green energy stimulus can be acheived. I am interested in your view and also the solution ecosocialism proposes



      A different currency system - blog from NetCare


      The euro crisis and an upcoming dollar crisis are both related to a bad monetary system where credits are piling up in countries bringing them to their knees.Allthough both economic systems have different reasons and background for the trouble...

    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Hi Gerard,

      An energy based currency is certainly feasible. One of the leading advocates Chris Cook was the director of the International Petroleum exchange inLondon. Here are some of his presentations.


      I was using the term ecosocialism to group some of the thinking outside the world of Davos. For my own part, ours is a social business which advocates a people-centered model of stimulating economies bottom up which would certainly be aligned with green energy and more. See Post Growth People-Centered Local Economies.





      ChrisJCook’s Presentations on SlideShare


      Read and download presentations by ChrisJCook

    • Gerard Kanters
      By Gerard Kanters

      I guess my article on a different currency system proposes an answer to the question you raised ont the 2009 convention

      "So, we invented three trillion dollars, lent it to ourselves, and are trying to salvage a broken system so far by reestablishing the broken system with imaginary money.

      Now there are, honestly, no answers."

    • Michele (@michele)
      By Michele (@michele)


      I pretty much agree on "...human nature and not the systems itself."

      In my opinion basically all systems/currencies (energy, money, bonds, time, expertise...) could be structured and tailored to meet real human needs, people-centered development, sustainable development.

      What really matters is and will always be who owns and manages the system/currency.

      Is the ownership "people-centered"? Is it a social business? Is it public or private sector?

      At the end who is in charge and what are his/her/their objectives and goals?


    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Yes, social business in that the business distrubutes no dividend and uses profit for community benefit. I've extracted the main points from the 1996 paper which described it here. It challenged the assumption of shareholder primacy, by arguing that business could do whatever its stakeholders determined within the law.


      The synopsis goes on to say:

      Top-notch education is leaving the confines of physical campus and four walls. A student in remote Zaire, given an Internet connection, can become a Duke-educated Master of Business Administration, while remaining mostly in his or her home village to the village's benefit. The prospect of such decentralized localization of education and economic activity allows a great deal of autonomy, freedom and self-determinism in the village's own character and identity. It need not be a risk to cultural heritage and integrity to benefit economically; the means by which such benefit will occur, how local citizens can have food, shelter, health care, and a basic sustaining human standard of existence can be determined at the local village level and then communicated at the regional, national, and global level simultaneously at virtually no cost via the Internet and a web site. It is this basic level of human sustenance, coupled with self-sustaining enterprise to provide this basic level of support, that I refer to as sustainable development -- which is just another way of saying "people-centered" economic development."


    • Gerard Kanters
      By Gerard Kanters

      On the question "who owns and manages the system/currency" ?

      There is an important difference between currency systems based on an underlying value like gold or energy and one that doesn't, like most currencies nowadays.

      Currency that are not backed by something substantial are in control of (federal) banks, who can manipulate the amount of money available and the cost of it (interest) which again is largely depending on the speed they are printing money in relation to the growth of its economy.

      This kind of control is impossible when it is backed by energy. The control is to those who create energy, which can be anyone. Interest will be based on the actual amount of "money" they want in return for not be able to spend it themselves. Since there will be no inflation, this is the net value they get in return, which is fair without risk of devaluation.

    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Gerard, Yes I understand the point about energy being based on a finite commodity and that is where we started with the core argument for an alternative to capitalism drawing attention to the creation of new money and how it accumulates in the hands of a  minority.


      As you may see, we take it on an argument for business with a primary social goal

      Reimagining capitalism - Principles of people centered economics


      The core argument from the white paper for People-Centered Economic Development as an alternative to traditional capitalism.

    • Michele (@michele)
      By Michele (@michele)

      Sorry but I don't agree on the difference between the two systems simply because the underlying value (gold?) is tangible/finite.

      Nowadays (private) banks would focus exactly on what Gerard says: exchange speed. Of course there wouldn't be any (gold?) physical exchange, everything would be "tracked" via computers and nothing would really change.

      Energy could be a far better solution because not finite (renewables), produced by everybody (in theory) but in this case, again, who owns/manages its distribution/market?

    • Gerard Kanters
      By Gerard Kanters

      Distribution can be done by an already existing system in some countries, where the energy provider, a consumer/or business in this example producing solar energy and delivers it to the energy network.

      If the consumer produces more than it actually consumes, the KW are transferred to his bank account.

    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Michele, the point about gold being finite was to illustate that we have moved to a system where money is imagined. Energy whether locked in fossil fuels or from renewable all comes ultimately from the sun. We cannot imagine more of it than exists, though we may be able to harness it more efficiently and cause less damage.

      We agree I think that energy is a better basis for currency, I have no argument.

      With our presentations at Sumy on Economic for Ecology we compared the 'Commanding Heighr" of competing ideologies, capitalism and communism, making this point about exchange speed:

      "During the plenary session, I briefly expanded on the written comments in my paper regarding financial economics costing far more than what it produces.  That was a few statements on "trading at the speed of light", also known as high-frequency trading, in the stocks and commodities markets.  That was 5 May.  The following day, the US stock market plunged 1000 points in five minutes, the largest drop ever.  Why?  Exactly what I warned students and faculty about only one day earlier.  I closed my plenary speech with the comment "They are stealing our money and it's out of control."  That isn't capitalism.  It is more akin to Frankenstein's monster."

      Capitalism in itself doesn't guarantee the re-distrbution of weallth through taxation. As we may see from the country where we delivered that presentation where 70 billion dollars have gone missing from state assets, following the recent uprising. 





    • Michele (@michele)
      By Michele (@michele)

      Gerard Kanters Yes, also here in Italy we have a similar distribution system + Gov's incentives but that's a whole additional set of complications to the matter...

      There are also new interesting peer2peer systems with local "smart grids" exchanging energy where/when needed.

      What I am convinced of is the more production AND distribution are publicly or community owned the better and more efficient. Nowadays we have the technology to target and achieve a much better and sustainable future.

      So, back to this post question: imho it's quite clear that both are wrong and right for some aspects just like they're very wrong and right for others.

      These are and have to be times to rethink and review so many behaviours and "traditions" which thing to many is scaring, while to others an awesome chance to become a better species on/for this planet.

      @Jeff Definitely agree on the absolute distorsions introduced by HFT and need for a way better redistribution of wealth.

    • Jeff Mowatt
      By Jeff Mowatt

      Technology and P2P applications are certainly likely to give rise to better distribution. It has been thefrom the PEP foundation that I've learned of some of them.

      There is however a problem for those who do not have the means to participate, through infirmity age or other disadvantage and from the left of UK prolitics the term predistribution has arisen from the undersrtanding that taxation and redistribution are not adequate to support future welfar needs.

      As I read about it and the example of living wage, I recognised its simllarity with social business for the benefit of others . as Yunus puts it "all about others, nothing about me"



    • Michele (@michele)
      By Michele (@michele)

      Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems


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