22 votes

If the Point of Capitalism is to Escape Capitalism, Then What’s the Point of Capitalism?

15 comments

  1. [8]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [5]
      RapidEyeMovement (edited ) Link Parent
      have you looked into the Financial Independence Reddit (be sure to check out their sidebar, a tone on info there) also, this offshoot of Financial Independence might be more what you are...

      have you looked into the Financial Independence Reddit (be sure to check out their sidebar, a tone on info there)

      also, this offshoot of Financial Independence might be more what you are interested in. https://www.reddit.com/r/leanfire/

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [4]
          RapidEyeMovement (edited ) Link Parent
          That is ultimately on the person. The information on Financial Independence I see as a tool, and how you make use of that tool is up to you. The essence of Financial Independence is making your...

          the idea is to suffer through something you don't like so that 10, 15, 20, 30 years down the road, you have a chance of financial independence.

          That is ultimately on the person. The information on Financial Independence I see as a tool, and how you make use of that tool is up to you. The essence of Financial Independence is making your money work for you.

          I don't believe retirement investment in America is going to look anything like it does today when I'm ready to retire

          A great sentiment, and something I personally advocate for and it greatly affects who I vote for in every election. But I see no reason to gamble on something that does not exist yet.

          I know way too many young dead people to believe that working for decades to save for an unpromised future is a good idea.

          This is projecting your own values onto someone else's life.

          When I really thought about the "financial independence" track, it just looked like a lot of sacrifice and misery

          I think this is more the Retire Early crowd, then the Financial Independence. The Retire Early crowd seems to focus on min/maxing. Which then leads them into jobs that they do not enjoy.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              Nitta Link Parent
              A lot of things you wrote in this topic are so relatable that it feels a bit like you are reading from my mind. I've been quite interested in the ways to live a financially secure life without...

              A lot of things you wrote in this topic are so relatable that it feels a bit like you are reading from my mind. I've been quite interested in the ways to live a financially secure life without sacrifice. This is especially amusing when living in a country for which those financial subreddits don't really work.

              The crude basics for me seem to be: ability (or luck) to not need expensive things and lifestyle, renting cheap (in perfect case splitting rent with friend(s)), and doing comfortable work-rest cycles throughout the life, hoping that the changes in the future will make worrying about old age now obsolete.

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. Nitta Link Parent
                  Probably, but also there are people who are naturally ambitious and perpetually strive for more. They also want to save money but they just cannot. Or their lives would quickly degrade in quality....

                  I think a lot of people get stuck in the trap of feeling like they need more luxuries than they actually do

                  Probably, but also there are people who are naturally ambitious and perpetually strive for more. They also want to save money but they just cannot. Or their lives would quickly degrade in quality. It's a strange thing to think about

            2. RapidEyeMovement Link Parent
              huh, interesting, I misunderstood your original sentence to imply a lot of young people hate their jobs and are dead inside because of it. This I agree with wholeheartedly

              huh, interesting, I misunderstood your original sentence to imply a lot of young people hate their jobs and are dead inside because of it.

              I also know way too many young dead people

              This I agree with wholeheartedly

              This was just a long way of saying... don't not save for retirement, but don't waste your time doing something miserable just to amass more and more money so that you might get the chance to hobble around in luxury for a dozen years at the end of your life. If you have an awesome job and can work 5 years to save enough to live the rest of your life, sure, do that. But if you're FIRE "plan" has you doing work you hate for 20 years... it just seems like a waste of your time to me. We live in a capitalist world, after all. There are way easier and more enjoyable ways to earn a living.

    2. [2]
      papasquat Link Parent
      The housing nut is cracked by living in low cost of living regions. Unfortunately, real estate is, and will always be one of the most valuable things in the world, because you cannot create more...

      The housing nut is cracked by living in low cost of living regions. Unfortunately, real estate is, and will always be one of the most valuable things in the world, because you cannot create more space, you especially cannot create more desirable space.

      If you want to be free from the burden of housing costs, you need to make a lot of money, or live in an undesirable place. Those are really your only two options.

      1. Nitta Link Parent
        The other ridiculous side of this problem is size of homes. If I want to live in a nice enough neighborhood where people live let's say in 1000 sqft houses for $500k, and I don't need more than...

        The other ridiculous side of this problem is size of homes. If I want to live in a nice enough neighborhood where people live let's say in 1000 sqft houses for $500k, and I don't need more than 300 sqft, no one would sell me that for $200k there. Because kinda artificial lower size limits. I'd need to pay the full 500 grand for mostly unused space to clean more, or settle in a bad neighborhood with same stupidly big but cheap house. Probably it's more a problem in countries with ghettos though

  2. [3]
    lmn Link
    A problem in life is that it requires resources to live and to live well. Those resources require organization and effort to acquire and they are finite. Capitalism is the most successful system...

    A problem in life is that it requires resources to live and to live well. Those resources require organization and effort to acquire and they are finite.

    Capitalism is the most successful system so far in terms of efficient distribution of those scarce resources required for life. We know this because of the material success of capitalist systems versus other systems.

    In the future AI and robotics will make us more productive, computers and VR will make us more efficient, green energy and recycling will make us more sustainable, and space travel will unlock vast amounts of resources. We will surpass capitalism then, where publicly owned robots might provide all that you'd need to live a good life for zero cost to you, but if we do then it won't be because capitalism was a terrible system we had to escape from. It will be because capitalism is a wonderful system that allowed us to reach a still better state.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      pleure Link Parent
      I hate this panglossian argument, a system that causes inordinate suffering is terrible irrespective of your views of alternative systems. Further, this idea that history will march along and...

      I hate this panglossian argument, a system that causes inordinate suffering is terrible irrespective of your views of alternative systems. Further, this idea that history will march along and eventually things will change on their own is absurd. Early capitalism was even more hellish than the current iteration, was it made better because of some natural internal progression? No, they weren't. Those changes where fought and won by people who wanted to change the system. Additionally, it is incredibly naive to think that the capitalist system, a system built around ever accelerating accumulation and concentration of wealth, will allow itself to be dismantled.

      The system is the enemy, and if you want to reach your star trek robot utopia you're going to have to recognize that.

      Also, "material success" is a worthless measure of the goodness of an economic mode.
      is lit

      7 votes
      1. lmn Link Parent
        I think you're arguing against positions that I'm not taking. For example, I never wrote that progress didn't require effort or that it would magically happen. I wrote that capitalist systems...

        I think you're arguing against positions that I'm not taking. For example, I never wrote that progress didn't require effort or that it would magically happen. I wrote that capitalist systems would enable us to reach better systems. That refutes your "Pangloss" description as I'm not arguing that this is the best possible world but that we can use capitalism to get to a better world. It also does not suggest, as you claim, that things will change on their own.

        Progress is an iterative thing. You note that yourself. Early capitalist models had children in coal mines and slavery. Later capitalist models have protections for workers, whistleblowers, social welfare programs etcetera. These things come not by magic but in part from advocates and in part because society is productive enough to afford these luxuries.

        Capitalism and technology make us more productive. Increases in productivity, as I alluded to earlier, let us have more and therefore we can afford better luxuries for society.

        Capitalism shouldn't allow itself to be dismantled. It will be replaced, in essence, when productivity is so massive that people can essentially live at zero cost.

        "The system is the enemy" strikes me as far more naive than the beliefs I've outlined. "The system is the enemy" is the ideology of angsty teens. A more mature view would realize that the problem of economics is incredibly complex and systems that are performing better than their alternatives probably aren't the enemy even if they need improvements.

        3 votes
  3. [4]
    jmillikin Link
    Goal-insensitive resource allocation strategies don't have a "point". Did the author run out of article ideas right before their deadline?

    If the Point of Capitalism is to Escape Capitalism

    Goal-insensitive resource allocation strategies don't have a "point". Did the author run out of article ideas right before their deadline?

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Spel Link Parent
      Do you really find it constructive to be that literal when the meaning is more than obvious if you actually read the article? "Of course capitalism doesn't have a point, it has no physical shape!"

      Do you really find it constructive to be that literal when the meaning is more than obvious if you actually read the article? "Of course capitalism doesn't have a point, it has no physical shape!"

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        jmillikin Link Parent
        I'm not going to read an article if the headline alone is strong evidence that it has no useful content.

        I'm not going to read an article if the headline alone is strong evidence that it has no useful content.

        1. tvfj Link Parent
          If you didn't read the article, you have no understanding of how the author defines capitalism, and you have no business deciding on your own arbitrary non-standard definition. Doing so anyway, in...

          If you didn't read the article, you have no understanding of how the author defines capitalism, and you have no business deciding on your own arbitrary non-standard definition. Doing so anyway, in order to dismiss the article and personally attack the author, is just a bad-faith intentional misreading and a waste of everyone's time.

          At the very least make it clear that you're just giving your hot take based on the headline. Or refrain from commenting at all if you haven't read the article - you're just bumping a thread you clearly disapprove of.

          2 votes
  4. demifiend Link
    I'd love to be able to share and recommend this article, but I can't do so in good conscience because it's on Medium and Ev Williams is an asshole.

    I'd love to be able to share and recommend this article, but I can't do so in good conscience because it's on Medium and Ev Williams is an asshole.

    3 votes