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nezumi.hebereke wrote: None of us live in Eclipse Phase capitalism because most of us live in some sort of a hybrid capitalist system, with laws to protect us from lead in the water, state-sponsored medical and retirement funds, an independent judicial, laws against certain abusive behaviors (child labor, etc.) Eclipse Phase is less like 2017 and more like 1927.
With EP, most of that went away, and with competition being as it is, any hypercorp that decides it would rather put morals over profits finds itself quickly outdone by its competitors.
nezumi.hebereke wrote: You're right that hypercapitalism is bringing most of the best things for transhumanity, and doing so more efficiently than the autonomists. But the price is ever greater wealth disparity. As those on the top acquire more and more property, those on the bottom are forced to do with less. Sure, the Consortium needs transhumanity to live--but it doesn't need all of them to live well. And wealth circulation is good for everyone, but holding wealth is good for me personally.
We have seen this before. It ends up with either a tiny group with absolute political and economic power, and/or it ends in revolution. We've seen this in Russia, we've seen it in Venezuela, and in the EP setting where leaders can literally clone themselves infinitely and never die, it's the most likely ends for the Consortium as well.
MrWigggles wrote: Well it'll end for the PC eventually regardless. Eventually Eclipse Phase will hit post scarcity in raw resources and manufacturing. It'll become more expensive to keep scarcity then to allow the prices drop to defacto nothing.
Capitalism will seek out new raw resources. It'll prefer to have its own source for any raw resource required. It'll work to make the acquisition, processing and logistics of that as cheaply as possible. It'll do the same with its manufacturing. Eventually the PC will be so successful it'll have to switch out of scarcity based economics. I cant tell you when. But eventually those extra solar colonies will mature. I'd say 100 years.
What's funny is the situation in the PC seems to be similar, despite the setting's blatant attempt to invoke the meme by fiat. The game expects us to believe that the poor are getting poorer in the PC, and yet the poorest people in the PC can access things for free or near-free that we consider either expensive luxuries or sci-fi magic. Isn't that interesting?
Such a situation does still lead to a net increase in inequality I suppose, but if you're still enjoying an improved standard of living overall does someone else improving faster really do any harm besides just inspiring envy?
Axel the Chimeric wrote:
THIS needs challenging, though. Wealth disparity DOES do real harm, especially generational harm. The same wealth, more evenly spread, improves quality of life more greatly for more people, while also turning them into avenues by which further economic boosts can be generated for the community because people below a certain wealth bracket are more likely to buy locally and thus invest in their local community.
It's not just "envy" that some are wealthier than others; things could be better for everyone and that they are not is real harm, even if things are better than they were.
Redistribution by force may temporarily result in more people being able to enjoy some wealth in total, but will it really work out in the long run, especially considering how economies of scale work?
R.O.S.S.-128 wrote: For example, before the industrial revolution, the largest single reservoir of wealth on Earth was arguably arable land. Before the industrial revolution, arable land was widely distributed among a huge number of small-time farmers. During the course of the industrial revolution though, farmland was gradually concentrated into fewer and fewer hands until all the farming was done by less than 2% of the population in most developed countries.
Did this massive concentration of wealth lead to famine and people dying in the streets? Not at all, developed nations now have more food than they know what to do with because large farming corporations were able to invest huge sums of money to develop cutting-edge agricultural technology, and their economies of scale allowed them to drive down the cost of food to where, as a share of income, it's a mere fraction of what it was. Of course, those people who were no longer farming went off to work in (or to run) factories, and by the end of the industrial revolution so much new wealth had been created in the manufacturing sector that arable land no longer held a dominant share of the nation's wealth.
That's not to say that inequality has any inherent good. Obviously if one single person held all the wealth, and everyone else none at all, that would cause problems. But history seems to show that any healthy economy will have some natural wealth inequality merely as a consequence of how economies of scale and exponential growth functions operate. It's not inherently good or evil, it's just a consequence of the math. Things are often the way they are for a reason, and that reason usually isn't "because I enjoy watching you peasants suffer."
* Have you read Thomas Sowell or Ayn Rand?
Quote: the true free market is the opposite of oligopoy
Rallan wrote: I wouldn't say the hypercorps are evil so much as risk-averse. They want to maintain the status quo of market economies and hierarchical power structures because it's the only system for governing large populations that's been proven to work over the long haul...
eaton wrote: Much like those who say that large-scale communism has never been attempted, and thus can't be judged by any real examples, this transforms free market capitalism from an economic system into a genre of fan fiction.
LuisCarlos17f wrote: Sorry, my English isn't enough good to try explain better, but capitalism and oligarchy are different things, the true free market is the opposite of oligopoy. Do forget state is Robin Hood stealing from richs to give the poors, but the king Jhon Lackland collecting taxes. Anticapitalism doesn't want to distribute wealth but to monopolize all economy, and then only "friends" of the party can be rich.
Of course the corporatocracies can be antagonist in the fiction, but the true evil corporatocracy is controlled by state or political parties.
* Do you know about the politic revolving doors?
* Have you read Thomas Sowell or Ayn Rand?
R.O.S.S.-128 wrote: the idea that a free market must forbid any charity or altruism is also patently false. At the most basic level, a free market is little more than leaving people alone and letting them do whatever they want.
Of course, in-game the PC are hardly paragons of the free market. Their ban on CM machines is an obvious example of their short-falling. Extropia is a bit closer.
A perfect free market is likely impossible, of course. Partially because the government isn't the only entity that can violate your property rights, so even an anarchy like Extropia isn't able to perfectly guarantee them. In fact, if you're getting as close as possible, the government's primary role is to ensure that *nobody else* violates your rights.
However, unlike Communism, Capitalism doesn't have to be perfect to work. In fact, a tiny drop of capitalism introduced to a formerly communist country can turn the whole thing around and undo much of the damage inflicted by communism's failure, as China has recently discovered. It can even work entirely on accident, when the government has no intention of following capitalist ideals but their citizens just keep trading with each other on their own. It's quite user-friendly that way.
So while it is true that no country has ever had a 100% free market, the good news is we don't need to. We could get by fairly okay with as little as 10% free or 20% free, but history has empirically demonstrated that the freer we are the richer everyone becomes, therefore it stands to reason that we should strive to get as close to 100% as we can.
After all, if neither system can be perfectly realized, shouldn't we go with the one that works just fine even when your implementation is massively flawed?
Quote: The beautiful thing about the free market is that it's organic. It will pop up automatically wherever there's human activity. I'd imagine rimward societies would be very free market oriented because of scarce resources thus the need to find the most cost efficient system to manage 'em.
MrWigggles wrote: I dont think you can blame an economic model on the Fall. The TITAN were sapient, and no one knew then came across a ETI, and uh, murderfucked everything after that. The Exstrugent Virus isnt a product of Capitalism. Well, I guess it could be. Its origins are unknown.
Axel the Chimeric wrote:
You really need to characterize what you mean by "work". Certainly, a capitalist system is generally capable of self-perpetuation, but what cost that self-perpetuation has is important.
(It also needs to be pointed out that China, a communist nation, works by your definition, suggesting that a communist nation need not be perfectly so to succeed either.)
Your claim that "the freer we are, the richer everyone becomes" is not a historical truism. It holds true in some senses but only - and importantly - up to a point. Nowhere is this more evident than at the turn of the last century, the economic collapse of the Great Depression, and the Union Movement. Unregulated business led to a massive rise in wealth disparity and saw huge expansions in suffering masses inside cities, and it took hard fighting on the part of labour organizers and subsequent protections written into law to ensure their success. Yet once these goals were achieved, prosperity manifested much more readily, as wealth flowed down from isolated pockets at the top and into the pockets of the consumers at the bottom.
When free trade arose, those economic protections became worth the paper they were printed on, as manufacturing jobs were lost overseas or, as the modern trend appears to be, automation. Salaries became desynchronized from rises in efficiency and the effective value - and effective income - of workers has stagnated ever since. This has happened with a rise in freedom, not a decline.
This is without even going into discussions of things like pollution laws or global warming. Talking about cost externalities with capitalism is just painfully exhausting.
Now, as a footnote to all of this, it needs to be said that capitalism is powerful. Like nuclear power, when harnessed effectively, systems of incentives can make humans do the most with least time and again. Again, like nuclear power, a lax attitude and unwillingness to properly regulate how we handle that system can lead to devastation for large numbers of people.
Quote: "The word "free" applied to public services, contains the most rude and puerile of sophistry. I am surprised that the public is deceived by that word; Because there is nothing that is free in the absolute sense. Public services cost everyone, and because everyone pays in advance is why they do not 'cost anything' when they are received"
MrWigggles wrote: I can find it relatively easy to make a good hypercorp but I cant really make Jovian republic good. A Hypercorp, can have very lenient indentureships. They could let you work longer, to bring out other unskilled family members. They could pay above market value. Its a Hypercorp, it makes a lot of money by just existing. It could be very ethical, and very transparent. And because of this, it probably isn't super competitive, probably sitting on the lower part of the bell curve of succesfull rich hyper corps. But it doesnt do anything with malice or anything unethical.
The Jovians are just kinda butt munches. I could tell how from the Jovian point of view why they're awesome, morally superior. But they arent. They're butt munches. They arent evil either. None of the factions in EP are evil. Not even the creepy, alien, ex humans. They separated themselves so far, that their moral standards are just incomprehensible.
Kojak wrote: To be honest, I think a big part of why the Jovians are seen as Bad Guys is because transhuman fiction doesn't tend to attract a lot of highly religious social conservatives, in my experience. I suspect if it somehow did, you'd see lots of them identifying with the Republic and finding it quite laudable.