13 votes

Any capitalists out there who want to make the world a better place?

Topic deleted by author

26 comments

  1. [13]
    Gaywallet Link
    I never quite understood why people adopt the labels of capitalist, socialist, fundamentalist, etc. Not everything in the world can be solved by a single methodology and in many cases a blend of...

    I never quite understood why people adopt the labels of capitalist, socialist, fundamentalist, etc.

    Not everything in the world can be solved by a single methodology and in many cases a blend of many different solutions is the best.

    26 votes
    1. [10]
      Litmus2336 Link Parent
      Thank you for the reply. I guess it's not really about that. It's more that I feel isolated and that even though I try to fix the world I have no idea how to do it, and that bothers me. I feel I'd...

      Thank you for the reply. I guess it's not really about that. It's more that I feel isolated and that even though I try to fix the world I have no idea how to do it, and that bothers me. I feel I'd be happier if I truly believed I knew how to make the world a better place.

      I'm just working on introspection with myself.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        Gaywallet Link Parent
        Asking how is definitely a good first step! Maybe don't try to take everything on at once. There are a lot of people in the world, and many of them are trying to be helpful just like you. A good...

        Asking how is definitely a good first step! Maybe don't try to take everything on at once. There are a lot of people in the world, and many of them are trying to be helpful just like you.

        A good place to start is to find out where your skills will be the most useful. What are you good at? What do you find interesting? What are your drives?

        4 votes
        1. [7]
          Litmus2336 Link Parent
          Admittedly I spend about 50 hours a week writing software, which is what I'm good at. I don't make anything unethical, but I don't necessarily help people with what I write. Most of my time is...

          Admittedly I spend about 50 hours a week writing software, which is what I'm good at. I don't make anything unethical, but I don't necessarily help people with what I write. Most of my time is spent making more money. Something about that feels wrong, yet I've also read the article that states that the best way to help the world is to become a wallstreet banker and just donate all your earnings. I just wish I created art, or something I could share with other people. I feel inauthentic during my day to day life.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            JuniperMonkeys Link Parent
            If you don't feel like doing that in your free time would make you go crazy, you could pursue contributing to various causes that way. Getting in touch with Tech Solidarity could be a first step...

            Admittedly I spend about 50 hours a week writing software, which is what I'm good at.

            If you don't feel like doing that in your free time would make you go crazy, you could pursue contributing to various causes that way. Getting in touch with Tech Solidarity could be a first step to find more local resources.

            5 votes
            1. blanketNTea Link Parent
              Or if you live in the US, Code for America. There are also branches for other countries/ regions e.g. Code for Germany, Code for Africa.

              Or if you live in the US, Code for America. There are also branches for other countries/ regions e.g. Code for Germany, Code for Africa.

          2. [3]
            Gaywallet Link Parent
            That's a very cold observation and honestly devoid from humanity. Just because it's the most "efficient" doesn't mean it's the route that will bring anyone real happiness. Plus, who knows what...

            I've also read the article that states that the best way to help the world is to become a wallstreet banker and just donate all your earnings.

            That's a very cold observation and honestly devoid from humanity. Just because it's the most "efficient" doesn't mean it's the route that will bring anyone real happiness. Plus, who knows what unethical things you might do along the way, which end up hurting people more than the good you are creating?

            I feel inauthentic during my day to day life.

            Then I would suggest figuring out what makes you feel authentic.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Litmus2336 Link Parent
              I will. There are some parts of me that I'm not thrilled with, but maybe being real with myself rather than suppressing it will help me.

              I will. There are some parts of me that I'm not thrilled with, but maybe being real with myself rather than suppressing it will help me.

              2 votes
              1. Gaywallet Link Parent
                Welcome to being an adult! Life is hard, yo. I wish you the best on your journeys and I hope you find what makes you happy.

                Welcome to being an adult! Life is hard, yo. I wish you the best on your journeys and I hope you find what makes you happy.

                3 votes
          3. lemon-fresh Link Parent
            If you're interested in applying your skills to help people more directly there are plenty of opportunities for software developers in the medical industry.

            If you're interested in applying your skills to help people more directly there are plenty of opportunities for software developers in the medical industry.

      2. Zaid Link Parent
        Excuse me for the cheesy answer, but change within the world starts within you. Be good to yourself and the people around you. Live and interact with the world with empathy and an open mind. Often...

        Excuse me for the cheesy answer, but change within the world starts within you. Be good to yourself and the people around you. Live and interact with the world with empathy and an open mind. Often we sicken ourselves with worry when we feel our existence is just a blip in the cosmos, but living to propagate the dream of harmony is personally beneficial and infinitely valuable to society. Unrealistic as it may sound, imagine if everyone gave each other the benefit of the doubt? What if we all put ourselves in our brethren's shoes?

        The change starts within you.

        A happy family [and a] happy society ultimately very much depends on our inner peace. So inner peace — just mere education [does] not necessarily guarantee to bring inner peace. With warmheartedness, then inner peace comes.
        -the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

        3 votes
    2. Kiloku Link Parent
      I don't think anyone goes for a single set of solutions, but if most of the solutions you believe in are part of a certain set, it's convenient to use that label

      I don't think anyone goes for a single set of solutions, but if most of the solutions you believe in are part of a certain set, it's convenient to use that label

      5 votes
    3. Crocodile Link Parent
      I hate when people automatically assume that if you mainly identify with one party/ideology, you have to agree with everything that supports.

      I hate when people automatically assume that if you mainly identify with one party/ideology, you have to agree with everything that supports.

  2. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      Litmus2336 Link Parent
      Thank you for that. I often struggle with the idea of white privilege - and the idea that I think our current government is superior to the alternative even when it is racist and misogynistic. A...

      Thank you for that. I often struggle with the idea of white privilege - and the idea that I think our current government is superior to the alternative even when it is racist and misogynistic. A lot of my friends believe in radical change now, whereas I am more weary. Ultimately I will never understand the minority experience, which makes me think that I have it all wrong.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. Litmus2336 Link Parent
          It actually does, thank you. Sometime I worry that because I work within a system that is racist/transphobic/ableist that I am a racist/transphobe/ableist myself. It's nice to think that some...

          It actually does, thank you. Sometime I worry that because I work within a system that is racist/transphobic/ableist that I am a racist/transphobe/ableist myself. It's nice to think that some people (who probably aren't those things) do too.

          1 vote
  3. [4]
    super_james Link
    When you label yourself as a 'capitalist' I'm not really sure what you mean here? You personally own shares etc and earn a significant income from it? You have a strong belief in private ownership...

    When you label yourself as a 'capitalist' I'm not really sure what you mean here?

    • You personally own shares etc and earn a significant income from it?

    • You have a strong belief in private ownership of productive assets? (Not just in a market for goods, services and resources but specifically markets for productive assets)

    • A more general belief in the rightness of western economic systems? (In which case which one? Is it 'American Capitalism', 'German Capitalism' ? Or what? )

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      Litmus2336 Link Parent
      Primarily 2, but also #1 for retirement somewhat.

      Primarily 2, but also #1 for retirement somewhat.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        super_james Link Parent
        Capital in the 21st Century argues that in developed economies the total growth in productivity (G) is less than the average return on capital (R) G < R. It also notes the effect of larger...

        Capital in the 21st Century argues that in developed economies the total growth in productivity (G) is less than the average return on capital (R) G < R.

        It also notes the effect of larger fortunes generally getting a bigger return.

        So absent effective taxes on capital this suggests that increasing inequality under capitalism is pretty much inevitable.

        I still agree that market based economics with ownership of capital are the best system we have to run an economy. I don't see why we should allow economic success to be transformed into political power.

        To me the biggest thing the west needs to fix is the corruption of our political systems by the rich and powerful. Buying politicians, capturing regulators or funding disinformation campaigns to sway the voters needs to be viewed as more or less treason.

        4 votes
  4. [2]
    spctrvl Link
    For what it's worth, you're in good company since the overwhelming majority of self-described American socialists are in fact social democrats. The word's been used as a smear there for so long...

    For what it's worth, you're in good company since the overwhelming majority of self-described American socialists are in fact social democrats. The word's been used as a smear there for so long that to most people it's lost its original meaning of 'worker ownership of the means of production', and taken on the connotation of 'anything left of laissez faire'.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. spctrvl Link Parent
        It's quite frustrating, since it deprives actual socialists of the language with which to describe themselves.

        It's quite frustrating, since it deprives actual socialists of the language with which to describe themselves.

        4 votes
  5. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. Litmus2336 Link Parent
      Thank you. I'll try to think about how I want to make the world a better place. I suppose I struggle with the idea that so many people want to make the world "better", and what I think would be...

      Thank you. I'll try to think about how I want to make the world a better place. I suppose I struggle with the idea that so many people want to make the world "better", and what I think would be better for me would be constituted as worse by many people I love and care about. I find that challenging. I think I'm still very concerned about how others see me.

      2 votes
  6. BuckeyeSundae Link
    There's always volunteering for a cause you believe in. Not everything has to be about making a change at the top to make a difference. Chances are there are local initiatives you can really get...

    There's always volunteering for a cause you believe in. Not everything has to be about making a change at the top to make a difference. Chances are there are local initiatives you can really get behind near you. Local candidates you believe in (hell, you might even consider being one if you find the field still lacking). Don't go running for your state's governor or county commissioner or something like that off the bat (depending on what country you're even in), but school boards, city councils, local charity organizations are all great places to get your feet wet using your spare time to help your community and feel impactful.

    Maybe that's a bit too deep for you right now. That's fine. You can still help out by going knocking come election season to help people make sure they're ready for the coming election and, if you're working for a partisan purpose or specific issue, talking with them what about the local candidates/issues might matter to them. There's also food pantries, animal shelters, probably art festivals that you can put feelers out and see if you could help them with their efforts somehow (and usually money is the way they most need help with).

    Overall, my overriding point is that often "making the world a better place" starts smaller than the ways we often hear about in the news. It's the most viral cases that break through the noise, but there are all sorts of ways and organizations you can immerse yourself in to help make a difference without necessarily needing to convert to communism or something ideological.

    1 vote
  7. GoingMerry Link
    I think I've been where you're at. I saw in one of your replies that you're a programmer and your day-to-day work isn't making the world a better place. I found myself unhappy in a similar...

    I think I've been where you're at. I saw in one of your replies that you're a programmer and your day-to-day work isn't making the world a better place. I found myself unhappy in a similar situation to yourself, and took a year off to try to understand myself a little better.

    I realized that I kept waiting for a person who I respected to come along so I could put my talents to use for them. I kept looking for a special cause to put my effort into. They never came. Sure I would find people/causes I thought would work, but they always turned out to be not exactly as I imagined.

    The advice that was given to me: "When the student is ready, the master will appear." What it really means to me is that I should be working on something to sharpen my skills so that when the moment comes to put them to use, I will be ready.

    This perspective really changed the way that I spent my time! Everything I did became an opportunity to improve some part of me - my personal skills, my organizational skills, my programming skills, etc. At first it was just part of my non-work life, but eventually I started only working on projects that made a positive difference in the world.

    Now I try to "be the change I want to see in the world". It doesn't have to be a big thing or even anything that affects other people - it could be as small as spending a single afternoon reading an inspiring book.

    Start with yourself, keep coming back to yourself, and you'll realize the only way you can make positive change is through yourself.

    1 vote
  8. lmn Link
    What other economic theories are there? I'm familiar with capitalism, communism, fascism, fuedalism, and anarchy. It would take more than a comment to fully defend my position, but everything I've...

    What other economic theories are there? I'm familiar with capitalism, communism, fascism, fuedalism, and anarchy. It would take more than a comment to fully defend my position, but everything I've read suggests to me that capitalism is a vastly superior model.
    Communist countries have starved and murdered their own people by the millions too frequently for me to think their system is worth more attempts.

    As far as revolution - I once saw an interview of a guy rioting in the Arab Spring. He screamed into the camera "This is the day I die!" as he ran about his business. That's the kind of attitude you need for a revolution. You have to be willing to fight and die - if not, you're just pretending.

    Lots of people pretend now. "Resist!". Really? Do you pay your income taxes? Are you breaking people out of immigrant detention centers? Are you really putting yourself at risk, or are you just pretending while shouting incendiary comments because you don't like the President?

    It's good that people aren't really trying to revolt. It means things haven't become that bad yet. Because they haven't, that means civil and legal routes are the best course for change.

    People should demonstrate their competence before they try to make huge changes. If you think you know how politics should work, get involved at a local level and advocate for the changes you want to see. Study how they work. Change them when they fail.

    Some band crying about capitalism may mean well, but if they can't point to a track record of success for their ideas and implementation, I wouldn't trust them to do more than draw a crowd to buy shirts.

    You shouldn't feel bad for being a capitalist. Obey just laws. Work hard. Learn what works. Advocate for changes you believe in. Measure and study your own efforts and change your mind when you're wrong. If you do these things you'll be a good citizen.

  9. cloudwizard Link
    Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to helping other people. It's not necessarily malicious, but the base goal of a successful capitalist is to take money from other people and give it to...

    Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to helping other people. It's not necessarily malicious, but the base goal of a successful capitalist is to take money from other people and give it to yourself. Some may argue against this; they'll say that it's possible to create value from nothing, or succeed without impairing others. I disagree. There isn't an infinite amount of value in the world, it is limited and distributed amongst us. Otherwise, couldn't we all live in mansions and own yachts? For every successful and wealthy person, there are two or three, or even more, poverty stricken people whose shoulders the wealthy one is standing upon.