Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Debunking "Save Capitalism" and arrogance.

I am really sick right now so I was taking a break but someone brought this to my attention and I felt the need to deal with this guy.

His first post on his blog had absolutely no intellectual value at all. He just spewed insults and diatribe and offered nothing of value at all. I normally do point for point evaluations no matter how stupid the person is acting but for the first time in V-RADIO history someone actually wrote something that was so intellectually useless that I just refused to even dignify it with a response.

I responded with some counter information and debates that he simply deleted. It's pretty clear that he projects "Your just brainwashed" into every debate that does not fit his agenda when it's clear when confronted with logical debate he is doing just that. I posted some more information and he deleted that too. Claiming arrogantly that we just don't know what we are talking about. And all the while talking about how smart he is. (No, that is not a paraphrase. This guy really thinks very highly of himself.) What I can tell you in response to that as I am sure his ego will make him read this, men who are particularly smart don't generally behave like a sixth grader making fun of a kid for not wearing the right sneakers. And that is the intellectual value of at least 80% of your work that I have seen. So below I will point for point answer your blog post. I will also do a subsequent radio show and I DARE you to call in. In quotes is his stuff.

"After being informed by half a dozen or so of the zeitgeist movements loyal drones"

Ad hominem. Intellectual failure on your part.

"that my previous “critique” wasn’t so much a critique as acid name-calling (which it was in fact fully intended to be)"

You, the person claiming to be intellectually superior just defended being intellectually inferior. That is certainly dubious.

"I will here pen down the first in a number of posts on why the Zeitgeist movement has the whole concept of economics, history and mankind completely upside down, and why they are in fact nothing but utopian socialists,"

Did you mean PIN down?

"who wish to go back to the natural state of the stone ages."

What the hell are you talking about? We want a highly technological society.

"1. Economics and scarcity

The first point where the Zeitgeist movement takes a detour into the land of crazy is when they claim that scarcity really doesn’t exist – it is created by big corporations by consciously keeping inventory off the market so as to increase profit. This statement is ludicrous on so many levels, but lets first start with the basics."

Ad hominem. Intellectual failure on your part. We also feel that scarcity is the root cause of the problem. Not that it doesn't exist. We do feel that some corporations do artificially cultivate situations of scarcity for the sake of profit. Because they do.

"Scarcity is a condition of human existence, and has always been. Scarcity of resources in the early history of man was mostly due to lack of tools and knowledge to make use of resources around him. Today, scarcity of resources is becoming more about how to efficiently allocate, use and recycle the existing basic materials that can be extracted from the earth, water and air. A few examples might be enlightening :"

Scarcity is not a condition of human existence anymore then wearing furs is. It can be overcome through the proper application of technology. The second pat of your statement actually agrees with us. Odd...

"If scarcity doesn’t exist, why do we have to drill deeper and deeper to find and extract oil?"

Oil and our use of it is a textbook example of how the monetary system cultivates circumstances of scarcity. We shouldn't be using it at all. There is more then enough abundant and clean energy that could be cultivated right now. Geo-thermal is the most potent. Iceland is roughly 70% powered by Geo-thermal. There is no reason we could not be cultivating these effectively endless energy sources and using them for all of the energy needs currently dealt with through oil and coal.

"If scarcity doesn’t exist, why does agricultural production have to become more and more efficient to prevent the starvation of an increasing population?"

Odd thing. It never does. Farmers are actually paid not to farm so as to keep the prices high for good profit margins. Do your research. Companies actually will destroy food rather then give it to the hungry.

"If scarcity doesn’t exist, why would anyone EVER work, and not just go out into nature and pick whatever resources he needed and live happily ever after (this is, from what I’ve understood, actually what the Zeitgeisters see happening in their Utopia, so scratch this one …)"

For someone who arrogantly demanded that we read and respond to this post of yours you could do for an awful lot of reading. We are not anarcho-primitive. I have no idea where you got this idea. We believe that technology expressed to it's fullest can and will overcome hunger and poverty. Our research says this can be actually be achieved now.

"The fact of the matter is that the size of the globe is fixed – we have a fixed amount of resources at our disposal. This isn’t a problem (although it may become one day), it just means that a certain amount of effort needs to be put into the extraction and transformation of these resources into the everyday products and constructions we use."

Yes, we agree on that. And the capitalist profit-motivated system doesn't give a damn whatsoever about anything except profit. No matter what conditions in the environment dictate. And the consumer who is supposed to be the arbiter of preventing this in the utopian free-market idea is either too greedy to stop them as they love cheap stuff, or too desperate to stop buying from companies who practice these methods.

"2. Capitalism and profit

(when we discuss capitalism, we refer strictly to laissez-faire capitalism, and not the modern day evil that is “state capitalism/crony-ism/corporatism” which really is only a somewhat regulated version of the 1920’s and 30’s fascism, that we have been living with ever since)

Some may wonder why I tend to get vitriolic in my remarks about certain groups of people, you can rest assured that this is done solely on the basis that they tried to slander capitalism, which means they tried to damage the system that is responsible for my, and their lives of relative luxury. Stomping on capitalism is the luxury of spoiled little brats whose ancestors worked themselves into an early grave just to provide for the next generation, by capitalist entrepreneurship and hard work."

Yes, but your vitriolic remarks actually act to completely discredit you. If you are intellectually correct then you just are. That becomes self-evident. When you spew attacks it lowers the quality of the conversation down to the lo brow waste of time that is name calling. You reacting like that actually makes you look like the desperate brainwashed cultist that you claim we are. I counter your "oh but I am talking about REAL Free-market Capitalism". Just to disclose to you who I am, I am a former candidate for Congress as a Libertarian. I was a delegate to the last Libertarian national convention. And a former free-market capitalist. I get it. I have read about it. I have listened as the cult of Ayn Rand defends it endlessly and then start making some pretty scary statements that amount to "The strong survive, and anyone who cannot find a way to be useful to the profit system deserves to die." (Oh, FYI, I am not talking about those lazy people who cannot be productive. I am talking about the people who are inevitably left out to dry when your system fails. People who would work but cannot find work. A growing number of very well educated people are falling into this category as the "profit before people" system eventually devours itself. I fully understand Free Market Capitalism. That's why I know it won't work. And that's why I left that movement behind me.

"Profit is evil, they say, and consist solely of an imaginary “fee” that evil capitalist corporations put on top of the cost of extracting resources or combining them into products. This claim is not only ridiculous, it is strictly illogical. It is true that every business-man strives to maximize his profit, something which brings about the highly competitive market economy that is a trademark of the capitalist system. But before we go into profits and competition, I think there is a need for an explanation of what the capitalist system is, and what it isn’t (because the Zeitgeist movement clearly has no clue)."

Yes, the highly competitive market economy with the profit motive. It has brought all sorts of wonders like:

War profiteering. Political corruption. Outsourcing. Worker exploitation. Slavery.

"Capitalism is a system which is based on the volountary exchanges between individuals, within the framework of which each person acts according to his own self-interest, and thus guarantees that all exchanges that makes both parties more satisfied with their conditions of existence. There is no “force” in capitalism."

Yep. Heard all of this too. There is no "force" in capitalism until you lose your job because they gave it to someone who is so desperate that he will live in an improvised shack and accept the 30 cents an hour you are willing to give them. And they will take it since it is slightly better then the starving-to-death lifestyle they had before. Then you are "forced" out of your home. And some people end up "forced" to turn to crime or die. Lots of choice there. The system is designed just like every other monetary system that the people with more money are able to force other people to do whatever they want. The difference with the slavery in the capitalist system is that the people involved are duped into believing they can be one of those people maybe if the work really hard. And have no idea that they are in fact slaves. The only thing that we had that was better then the slaves was a somewhat better control over our lifestyles. But the actual effect of the capitalistic system in practice leads directly to people trying to become as satisfied with THEIR SIDE of these "voluntary exchanges" as much as possible at expense of the other person involved. This is why "profit" is evil.

Saying that it's OK that I am a willing participant in the capitalistic system because after all, I could just choose to starve is like saying a gunmen did nothing wrong in threatening my family with a gun because after all, I could just choose to let him shoot them. The choice was after all, mine right?

"In addition to this, the term “capitalism” (as originally coined by Marx) alludes to the fact that within this system, every individual or group of individuals may abstain from consuming that which he has produced, and instead save it. This allows for a longer time-scale when producing, and the creation of intermediary goods, so-called “capital goods”. A “capital good” is any good that is created solely for the purpose of aiding in the creation of another good. This means that the capital good in itself is of no value (you cannot eat a machine) unless it is used for the production of another good. The only reason for creating such a good is if it increases future production (a fishing net will increase the amount of fish you can catch, but takes some time to stitch together). We here see the origins of a number of concepts, namely :

  • Business, defined as the organized efforts of one or more individuals to create goods for production or consumption
  • Capital, defined as abstained consumption, which has instead resulted in the creation of goods that enable higher future production (creating a fishing net instead of just sitting around eating fish)
  • Interest rate, defined as the social time preference of individuals, or in our example how much time and individual will spend on a business endaveour (creating a fishing net) instead of spending the time on immediate, lower producing, efforts (trying to catch fish with your hands)
  • Profit, defined as the return on an investment by someone who has found a way to increase his production, and extends it to others. It may, for instance, take the same time to create a fishing net as it does catching 10 fishes with your hands. Using a fishing net, however, doubles the amount of fish that you can catch per time unit. It therefore makes perfect sense to

A ) Sell a fishing net for more than 10 fishes, if you are in the business of creating fishing nets (thus making a profit)

B ) Purchasing a fishing net for more than 10 fishes, if you are either not able to create it yourself, or it takes you significantly longer to create a fishing net than collecting fish and buying one

From the points A) and B) we quickly realize the origins of Marx’s flawed exploitation theory. Why is it, Marx would argue, that someone can create a fishing net (which takes the same time as catching 10 fish) and sell it for 11 fishes. This means that he has made 1 fish in profit, which must thus be an “exploitation” of the purchaser. However, this is not so, because the only reason anyone would buy a fishing net for 11 fishes is if it takes the same person more time to create their own fishing net, than it takes to catch 11 fishes. Thus, conversely we see that the purchasing person will need at least the same time as catching 12 fishes to create a fishing net (otherwise it would make no sense buying one). But this means that this person, too, is making a profit, for the fishing net is worth 12 fishes to him, but he is only paying 11 fishes! He is exploiting the seller of the fish-net as well!"

Not sure what your point is here. I will reply by saying however that the flaw that comes out of this that is rarely addressed is that the producers of these means don't generally care about the outcome of what happens. They don't care about the fisherman put out of work. They don't care about the ecological concerns that eventually lead to their being no more fish when they have over-fished. And they don't care about the long term effects overall. Profit becomes more important then anything. And it creates short sighted greed.

"The result of this is that we see that capitalistic trade can be seen as equal to “mutual volountary exploitation” or rather “mutual volountary profit-seeking”, which means that ALL parties involved are better off than before. Thus, everytime something is sold for profit, all of society benefits."

Again I already debunked this. The trend is not to make everyone better off then before. It is to make yourself better off then before. And this perpetuates in a cycle of forever making yourself better and better and better off then the people you exchange with. This is why the system cannot sustain itself. Particularly when machines are put into the mix.

"3. The myth of evil corporations and the immorality of savings

If we are to continue following in the steps of Marx (since Zeitgeist clearly is a fundamentally Marxist movement), "

No. It isn't. This is another Ad Hominem. The proposal we suggest has a few things in common with Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism but it is neither of these things. You Free-Market types are quick to throw the label of "Evil socialist" or "Evil communist" on anyone who ever proposes that people should share or work together. It's BS.

"we quickly arrive at the argument that “the workers are exploited by the capitalist class”, where the capitalist class are those who hold the means of production (capital goods). But nothing is ever said of how this so-called class acquired these capital goods (factories, tools, facilities etc.). There is only one way to acquire capital goods, namely through abstaining from consumption. This means that these people at one point made a choice NOT to consume the efforts of their work, but instead trade them for things that they could use to increase future production (creating or purchasing a fish net, from the previous example). Thus, if acquiring and holding capital is evil, this means that saving is by definition evil, and thus we must abolish all savings. This means, in essence, to destroy everything that all prior generations have created (houses, vehicles, plants, equipment, books – everything) simply because it is “unfair” that some people own it and some don’t. "

You can save your entire life and never make money to be able to start a business. And with the current trend of greed looking to be sure that the worker has no choice but to work for only what it takes for him to survive and no more, or just outright replacing the worker entirely with machines savings are not relevant. See here you are putting words in our mouth and calling us Marxists even though we never said anything about savings being evil. I think any system that forces people to deprive themselves of quality of life in order to survive is evil. I think any system that puts to death 34,000 children a day is evil. You forgot to mention that a great many of these fortunes did not come from people saving up. People take all the time. And before you try and tell me that the Free Market does not advocate that I would point out that the nutcase Ayn Rand that most Free Market cultists worship for example said that manifest destiny and the slaughter of the native Americans was completely justified. Most of her work sounds like the "Mein Kamph" for the neo-conservative movement. When you peel away the layers of the "Free Market" thinkers you almost always find a dark undertone that sounds exactly like the thoughts of the elite that Alex Jones screams about all the time.

"Either this, or we come to the conclusion that Zeitgeisters believe themselves to be divinely justified to decide over others, and how to redistribute their resources (which I suspect they do). A world science board led by the “enlightened” scientists of Zeit, perhaps?"

Which you suspect we do? I am glad that you made me read an respond to your speculation. I was unaware that rigorous study into Free Market ideals and constantly telling us how smart you are would grant you powers of telepathy. In any case it's not about any one person or group of people. The scientific method can show us how to make more then enough for everyone. Not to distribute the scarce, but use science to eliminate the scarce by making it abundant, or finding alternative solutions. Your system thinks the best way to distribute resources is to allow people who are lucky enough to be rich to own all the resources and make us slave away to gain rights to live.

"To continue, business is obviously merely a result of capital accumulation, and the processes that result. Savings lead to increased production, which leads to business and work-opportunities. The Zeitgeist movement consideres wage labour to be slavery, but what they forget is that there is always the option to NOT work."

Right. We have the option to not work. We could just die of starvation. Makes perfect sense. Starting to think that gunmen threatening my family is fairly reasonable after reading this.

Please don't even waste our time with the "Oh but there is work, you just need to be educated!" Or "Just start your OWN business!" when I know dozens of well educated unemployed people. And statistics show that the VAST MAJORITY of new businesses fail leaving these people destroyed financially. As I said, the trend is now to eliminate the need for labor in the name of profit as much as possible. Technology is making this happen. Whether through outright automation or developments in shipping technology that allow businessmen to find the most desperate people they can to work for the least possible amount. (Oh, by the way they also create these pockets of desperate people through undercutting and destroying the local economy.) They have a whole world to choose from as far as people will work for the absolute least.

"But it’s unfair – they’ll cry, because we don’t have any capital goods, so we can’t produce enough to sustain ourselves and have a comfortable living. Well, tough for you (your ancestors sure didn’t whine about it – they dug their hands into the soil and started growing food instead),"

Actually a lot of the colonial empire you were glorifying in one of your early posts that our "ancestors" participated in were built with slave labor. They just bought other human beings and had them dig into the soil instead.

"that doesn’t mean you get to steal from everyone else (again – these people are Marxist whether or not they understand it themselves)."

Right. Don't steal from anyone else. So don't do anything like say, go to war against the "red man" so you can have his land. Don't go to war against the Arabs so you can have their oil. Don't go to war against the South Americans so you can have their fruit. Etc. Etc. Etc. Capitalism may not have death camps but it sure manages to kill a lot of people in the pursuit of control of resources. And I don't see your free market doing a damn thing about that.

We don't advocate stealing from anyone. Nor have we ever. We want to create communities where everything belongs to everyone and the means of production belong to everyone and are operated at high efficiency so that everyone has everything they need. We also do not advocate, condone or in any way suggest force as a solution. Ever. If you don't want to participate we don't care. And I would think if your really a "liberty minded" person that a group of people who simply want to become a self-sustaining society should be fine with you.

"If you’re intelligent, you labour until you’ve saved enough to start your own business, and after that you can consider yourself self-sustaining. Apparently, you lot are blissfully unaware that a single hour of wage-labour can earn you the same amount of purchasing power as more than a day could just 100 years ago."

This is incredibly naive. I already addressed it above.

"Zeitgeisters seem to think that they have the answers – the machines will save us – and we can produce so much more than we do now . This should in reality mean that by average, a Zeitgeister is a billionaire, because of his knowledge of the superior use of machinery, design of production processes and efficient disposing of natural resources."

Actually technology that could empower all of this exists. It is also highly unprofitable for the system to change in such a way to empower everyone to be able to produce for themselves. This is why "off the grid living" is this not too well known thing. The system doesn't want people to get solar panels, hydroponic farms, etc because it likes us being dependent on Wal-Mart. And working for them to make sure they always have more goods then we do.

"What’s that you say – you need everyone elses resources in order to prove that your line of thinking is superior? Interestingly enough, many people don’t. Many people build their own fortune from scratch – these are the people who really have supreme knowledge of how to create as much as possible by using as little as possible. If any of you zeitgeisters have actually done any real production than feel free to tell me, or are you still stuck with your models of super-railways without the ability to make them come into existence? Oh, you need everyone elses resources to do anything. Right, where have I heard that before….. Oh, it is the evil capitalists that have taken all the capital goods and therefore there is none left for you? Right, I heard that one a few paragraphs back as well."

Not everyone else's resources. You forgot to admit that MANY MORE people fail at building their own fortunes. That in fact this system could not sustain itself if everyone actually succeeded. This system needs a working class (For now) and then when it doesn't people are just going to die.

"4. Where they get it right – the evil of central banking and government

Now, if the joint hordes of Zeitgeisters had bothered reading up on what this blog is about, they would know that out of all the bad things in the world, two institutions are more despicable than all the other, namely government and central banks."

You didn't exactly give us anything to motivate us to look at your blog. The vast majority of all this "intellect" you claim to be sharing is full of little more then schoolyard bullying and diatribe. We already know about the central bank problem. Ironically the stuff in this first Zeitgeist film was used by people during the Ron Paul campaign to expose this very fact. As for government it is screwed up and we want to eliminate it entirely eventually. But if you think that would ever happen through Anarcho-Capitalism I have a whole host of other stuff to share with you about why that is the most absurd and terrifying notion ever suggested.

"These two entities (with the central bank knowingly or unknowingly being the enabler of the government) are responsible for the majority of all the poverty, oppression and suffering in our part of the world. It is true that money is backed by debt, and it is equally true that the system will inevitably collapse due to the inherent instability in it. This, however, is not because it is a monetary-system, but because it is a fractional-reserve fiat monetary system. A fully goldbacked non-fractional system does not collapse. Why? Because it has a commodity money, meaning that no trade is ever performed in worthless fiat notes. This type of system would have bankrupted the governments of the world long ago, and thus Nixon abolished it in 1971. I won’t go into governments and central banks in detail here, since much of the blog is devoted to it. I will however briefly discuss solutions."

A gold standard? Are you serious? Talk about going back to the stone age. They burn diamonds in some of the mines to keep the price up. There is no reason the same thing would not happen to gold. Please.

"Clearly, a free monetary system where currencies may be created by individuals, and based on whatever the individual so chooses is the only solution to avoid the government creating an entity such as the Federal Reserve. Simultaneously, the Federal Reserve is what enables the government to persist, since inflation is the means by which government steals from its population without facing public uprising."

And it will just fail as every other monetary system before it has. Just like the repeated failures of Communist systems Capitalist systems that use money always turn to corruption. Centuries of history confirm this.

"The Zeitgeist solution of abolishing ownership, barter, trade and money is utterly ridiculous. For those of you who don’t believe me, I have a challenge : Try to construct a single pencil, without any trade, money or barter. No resources available you say? The interesting thing is that you fail to realize why we can purchase almost everything today."

ONLY if we can afford it and have the fortune of having a way to be useful to the ever increasingly downsizing system.

"Do you think that the pencils at the store magically appears? No, someone brought them there. How did they know they were needed? What weird force made the entire world economy align, through the thousands of processes and subprocesses, in order to bring one single pencil to the store so you could buy it? Did millions, if not billions of phone-calls take place just prior to your purchase? How could someone cut down a tree to produce the wood years before you would buy that specific pencil? Did they know each and every pencil that would be sold in the future?

I’ll end here and let this last paragraph be a teaser of the next post (I’m not done with you lot yet! Only cowards run!), in which we are going to discuss Mises, price theory, inflation and globalization. And with this, I leave the discussion open. Any argument that is irrelevant, ignorant or simply a bunch of incoherent words put together will be duly deleted. Think first, comment later."

You deleted a lot of relevant material. I honestly doubt you actually want to debate.

You stated that our solution is ridiculous. I have just exposed that is VERY clear that despite all your self proclaimed intellect you didn't even take the time to actually study this idea.
You are relying on personal attack and bluster to detract from the huge weaknesses in your arguments. You are actively censoring information that would be useful to debunk your points.

I just wasted about an hour reading through this post that you felt people needed to address if we were going to be worthy to post comments on your blog. It's funny that in all your defense of "liberty" and "freedom" you had to turn to censorship to protect yourself.

Oh one more thing. I noticed that you claimed that any socialistic system must have a capitalistic system to leech off of.

Funny that the only reason we can maintain the production and consumerism in the United States is by outsourcing most of our labor to Communist China.

For those of you reading this, it is in response to this:



  1. Nice rebuttal V.

    You should point out that you will NOT be filtering your comments like him. Unlike him, you don't shut people down to show a one sided view on any topic or matter. Any educated person in such topics would be open to all forms of information because they know that at any given moment their knowledge and view on the matter can change based on reasonable and educated input from another individual.

  2. Awesome post VTV. Do you think you could make the two parts (his words vs yours) a little more distinguishable? maybe a different font color, or different font? Thanks!

  3. You typed this while you were sick? I can't pen anything like this when im sober, healthy and well rested. This is good. Well done, V.