1. 20
  1.  

  2. 22

    Hopefully technology will give us robots that will take away all the jobs, which will cause like a massive worldwide unemployment; somewhat like 60 percent. People will be so unhappy. That would be great, because then you can finally see capitalism crashing so hard. There is going to be a lot of fear, lost blood, and lost lives to get to that point, but I think that’s the only positive thing I see, that we are going to have a total system collapse in the future. Hopefully as quick as possible. I would rather be 50 then be like 85 when the system is crashing.

    It creeps me out when I see opinions like it. He hopes that everything will burn - fuck people that would be 85 when he would be 50. That’s how it sounds to me.

    War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’!

    1. 22

      This type of thinking, to me, merely proves that he isn’t able to think beyond a certain point. This is the same for all doomsday-minded people: they can’t see beyond a certain scenario, so the only thing that is logical to them beyond that point is total annihilation.

      It tells us nothing real, only that it shows us their lack of imagination/hope. I think it’s common for people to reach this point from about 26 or 28 years old - their ideals start to feel unreachable, the planet starts to appear way less mendable than they always thought in their idealistic teen/20-some years, then it becomes hopeless, which results in this type of ‘depression’.

      It can happen to the best of us, I suppose. It did to me. But I realised that we live on a very, very old planet. Nothing new under the sun. So, time for younger generations to pick it up, and as always, they will.

      1. 6

        I do worry, though. The existential threat of our generation is pervasive surveillance; the threat of the previous one was the constant threat of nuclear war.

        Except the threat of nuclear war hasn’t gone away, and they aren’t really equivalent types of horribleness. We have to deal with what’s in front of us and try to have enough spare attention to also plan for the future… But it isn’t impossible for bad things to “win” just because disasters up to now haven’t destroyed the future.

        1. 9

          The existential threat has always been inaction against government corruption combined with lack of transparency if we’re talking U.S.. That applied during the Red Scares that were used to crush dissidents. That applied to disinformation leading to Patriot Act. That applied for mass surveillance. It applies every time lobbyists get a law hurting Americans passed that Americans do nothing about.

          I share the opinion of OP far as part goes where nothing can be done because people being attacked do nothing. It’s true. We’ve had major, net losses for most part of past decade. People just gripe. Corporate media’s influence on maintaining status quo is a big part of it but even exposes they do rarely lead to anything. Only thing that can be done with apathetic populace is convincing rich people to out-bribe politicians to make good things happen or switch to 2nd Amendment against anyone taking bribes. I doubt we’ll see much of those options either although the former has happened a bit with things like tech companies pushing back on incumbents in various sectors or some big ones getting its people deeper into government.

          It’s as depressingly bad as he says on gains vs losses in practice. It’s provably true that a tiny, tiny few can subvert and control a great many even as the many see it happening and have means to end it. On financial side, it’s worse where something like 30+ asset management firms control around 40% or so of world’s wealth w/ about 200 or less people controlling them. Out of 6+ billion or whatever chunk is contributing to economies.

          1. 3

            I mean, I agree with you on root causes, and that’s very well said. And the root causes are where the bulk of the effort to make a better world needs to be focused.

            I’m just saying that we can’t just neglect looking at the downstream dangers and working to mitigate them, too. It can never be more than a holding action, but we need that time. We don’t have unlimited time.

            1. 4

              I’m just saying that we can’t just neglect looking at the downstream dangers and working to mitigate them, too.

              I’m fine with mitigations so long as people are working on the root cause. Right now, we have very little work on mitigations and almost none on root cause. So… I’ll respect the mitigators and work mitigations myself but at same time encourage more effort on root causes which make mitigations hopeless in big picture. They’ll help untargeted individuals or give time to targeted ones at best before they’re squashed.

      2. 9

        Look at it from another angle:

        Survivability requires redundancy, and redundancy is the antithesis of efficiency. Modern Western capitalism is all about efficiency. Ergo, modern Western capitalism is continually subverting its own capacity to survive disaster.

        If you assume, as he seems to, that the system is going to fall apart, it makes a great deal of sense to want it to happen sooner rather than later.

        Ideologies can’t really die, but the people that host them can. So, as a person, it makes sense that you would want the best expected payout, and that would mean trying to survive a collapse now before the resources are too drained and the important redundancies too whittled away in the name of profits.

        You can argue that his assumption (collapse is inevitable) is incorrect, but his conclusion seems reasonable.

        Also, remember where he’s coming from:

        The Internet is one of the best chances we’ve ever had to make human cultures permanent and accessible. There is no technical reason I shouldn’t be able to access every book, movie, or song that has been digitized, or play every video game that has ever been produced. I hate the phrase and culture of post-scarcity, but goddamnit, the ‘net is as close as we’re ever going to get.

        He and the other Pirate Bay folks tried to help us, tried to give us all free access to those wonders–and we stuck his ass in jail for his efforts, on behalf of some faceless soulless companies.

        We are at the mercy of people making impossible amounts of money selling the eyeballs of the lazy and telling them “no, no, this is how it should be–don’t share, don’t think, just consume”. They would make whistling showtunes illegal if they could, in order to scrape together a penny, and the populace wouldn’t blink an eye.

        So maybe the only way to get those people to give a shit, to stop being free riders, is to hope that something inconvenient enough happens to make them think about the freedoms they take for granted.

        1. 3

          If you assume, as he seems to, that the system is going to fall apart, it makes a great deal of sense to want it to happen sooner rather than later.

          The Fail Fast principle of high-integrity systems. This is true… only if the goal of the designer is a better system. One without those faults. On the contrary, designers creating a system to serve themselves whose faults are “features” or irrelevant details (poor people suffering) wouldn’t do this. They’d instead optimize the ROI plus do a lock-in strategy. Microsoft and Oracle are the better comparisons in IT to corporate or government weakening of our stability for rewards of a few.

          “He and the other Pirate Bay folks tried to help us, tried to give us all free access to those wonders–and we stuck his ass in jail for his efforts, on behalf of some faceless soulless companies.”

          True except for this “we” shit. Many of us don’t want copyright law as is. Some of us take action against it in various ways. The proponents of abusive copyright, politicians accepting bribes to implement them, those paying bribes, the apathetic, LEO’s enforcing laws paid for with bribes (instead of ignoring them), and courts enforcing laws paid for with bribes (instead of nullifying them) collectively put his ass in jail. Unless you’re one of those, you or I… “we”… had nothing to do with it. I don’t even own up to “we as a society” interpretation if a small number of parties are bribing politicians for laws with net loss for society itself.

          1. 1

            Survivability requires redundancy, and redundancy is the antithesis of efficiency. Modern Western capitalism is all about efficiency. Ergo, modern Western capitalism is continually subverting its own capacity to survive disaster.

            I’m not sure what kind of redundancy you have in mind so correct me if I misunderstood but there are thousands of bakeries, logistic companies, software development shops, real estate developers and so on. Seems like a lot of redundancy. Competition is also one of the drivers for more efficiency and you get redundancy for free.

            The Internet is one of the best chances we’ve ever had to make human cultures permanent and accessible. There is no technical reason I shouldn’t be able to access every book, movie, or song that has been digitized, or play every video game that has ever been produced. I hate the phrase and culture of post-scarcity, but goddamnit, the ‘net is as close as we’re ever going to get. I’m not happy with existing copyright laws too but I think it’s worth pointing out that the economic motivation is providing incentives to create. You can’t read books that haven’t been written.

            That being said, I really dislike how, for example, the movie or music industry approaches copyright. I’m happy to pay for content but often it’s easier to find and use a pirated copy than a genuine one. I find it completely baffling.

        2. 6

          Add 2015 to title?

          1. 3

            You can do that by clicking “suggest” and adding it.

            1. 1

              I would if I knew how/could. Perhaps a mod can do it?

            2. 3

              It’s so full of ads, clearly he’s right.

              1. 1

                You don’t see someone spying on you, you don’t see something censored, you don’t see it when someone deletes stuff out of the search results out of Google. I think that’s the biggest problem to get people’s attention.

                This is certainly a problem. But even if everyone were aware of what’s going on, we all know the solution would not be to ask politicians to kindly not shaft us so much.

                Protests don’t really work either, especially considering they’re always met with tear gas and batons.

                So what’s left?

                this conversation quickly changed into an ideological exchange about society and capitalism—which is, according to Sunde, the real problem

                This guy keeps railing against “capitalism” without bothering to explain why/how it’s a problem.

                In reality, Capitalism is just people doing stuff in an economy - making trades and investments and savings. There’s nothing wrong or immoral about that by itself. The problems people associate with capitalism all stem from some kind of government intervention/meddling.

                For example, Comcast can keep being Comcast because the government makes sure it will never face any real competition.

                The same goes for other telecoms, banks, and other infrastructure all around the world. They set up the same monopolies and cartels everywhere because it’s massively lucrative, and because they can just force them on us all.

                1. 4

                  Protests don’t really work either, especially considering they’re always met with tear gas and batons.

                  The use of tear gas and batons is evidence that protests do work. If they didn’t threaten power, authorities wouldn’t risk bad PR to suppress them. The problem is that the success of activism is rarely definitive and often measured in bad things that don’t happen. For example the Iraq War was really horrible, but it would have been a lot worse if there weren’t huge protests before the war even began. Compare to our assault on Vietnam and other countries in the region, which went unchallenged for a decade or so before anyone cared, and as a result was much worse.

                  In reality, Capitalism is just people doing stuff in an economy - making trades and investments and savings. There’s nothing wrong or immoral about that by itself. The problems people associate with capitalism all stem from some kind of government intervention/meddling.

                  I don’t agree - for example take dangerous working conditions and child labor which were widespread during the industrial revolution. How did that stem from government meddling?

                  Even if we accept that idea, can you really separate concentrations of private power from government meddling? What’s to prevent capitalists from doing all they can to maximize profits, including leveraging the state?

                  1. 1

                    The use of tear gas and batons is evidence that protests do work. If they didn’t threaten power, authorities wouldn’t risk bad PR to suppress them.

                    I’m not sure that’s the case. Protests aren’t generally aimed at reducing the government’s power specifically, right?

                    Would any protest be likely to “get out of hand” if not violently suppressed right from the start? -I can’t tell what that would mean in practice though, considering the government could just shut it down even harder later on.

                    It could be that protests are shut down early purely to minimize the resulting PR damage, and not to neutralize a threat to government power.

                    But take Hong Kong’s protests against China appointing their rulers, for example. The people protested because they didn’t want that to happen, and they got beaten and maced until they stopped protesting. That’s how it always goes, and that’s what I meant with “not working”.

                    Can you guess if China will be appointing HK’s rulers?

                    for example take dangerous working conditions and child labor which were widespread during the industrial revolution. How did that stem from government meddling?

                    We’d have to really get to the bottom of that to arrive at a definitive answer. Dangerous working conditions exist even in the Western world today, and it’s not clear there’s anything wrong with “child labour”, depending on the circumstances and so on.

                    Perhaps you could come up with a more specific question, and we might have a more specific answer.

                    But ultimately it all boils down to whether coercion is involved or not. Coercion = Bad. No Coercion = Good.

                    What’s to prevent capitalists from doing all they can to maximize profits, including leveraging the state?

                    Key word: “the state”. The state is all about coercion.

                    1. 3

                      I think we may be talking past each other, as you seem to be focused exclusively on government power, while I see government as largely integrated with and subordinate to private power, and I find it useful to think of that concentration of power as a unified system.

                      I get what you mean by HK protests seeming like they were all for nothing. True, they didn’t accomplish their maximal aims. But they did raise consciousness, mobilizing young people and changing the society’s attitudes toward authority. Those changes in the society will contribute to the success of future movements. The protest also imposes soft constraints on what the Chinese government will do right now, because they want to avoid future political unrest.

                      We’d have to really get to the bottom of that to arrive at a definitive answer. Dangerous working conditions exist even in the Western world today, and it’s not clear there’s anything wrong with “child labour”, depending on the circumstances and so on.

                      Perhaps you could come up with a more specific question, and we might have a more specific answer.

                      It’s been a while since I learned about the industrial revolution in history class, but I remember that horrendous working conditions were commonplace, and only improved when government regulations were imposed, such as the Factory Acts in Britain. That seems to be a case where the problems of capitalism were lessened by regulation, not caused by it.

                      What’s to prevent capitalists from doing all they can to maximize profits, including leveraging the state?

                      Key word: “the state”. The state is all about coercion.

                      So your solution is to not have a state to begin with? What’s to prevent capitalists from creating a state with which to coerce people? And what does this mean for the real world which already does have states?

                      1. 1

                        I think we may be talking past each other, as you seem to be focused exclusively on government power, while I see government as largely integrated with and subordinate to private power

                        We might be. What’s “private power”?

                        But they did raise consciousness, mobilizing young people and changing the society’s attitudes toward authority. Those changes in the society will contribute to the success of future movements.

                        Or the result was the population becoming more apathetic, and less likely to resist future oppression.

                        It’s been a while since I learned about the industrial revolution in history class, but I remember that horrendous working conditions were commonplace, and only improved when government regulations were imposed

                        I can’t see why conditions wouldn’t improve through market forces alone.

                        Employers want to make as much money as possible, and to that end, they want to have the best workers they can get, and so they need to compete for them.

                        Competing for the best employees happens through offering them a better deal, including working conditions, than other employers. Employers don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding new employees to replace ones that quit either, which also means they have an incentive to keep them happy.

                        That’s obviously how it goes without any interference from non-market-forces, such as the government deciding where and how workers can unionize, like in China again.

                        That seems to be a case where the problems of capitalism were lessened by regulation, not caused by it.

                        Well, to accept that conclusion, you’d need to explain how what I explained above didn’t/doesn’t apply.

                        What are “the problems of capitalism”, by the way?

                        So your solution is to not have a state to begin with?

                        Yeah. For starters, it’s fairly obvious that all of mankind should not be extorted (=“taxed”).

                        What’s to prevent capitalists from creating a state with which to coerce people?

                        That’s an “ideological” question, is it not? Why are “capitalists” specifically some kind of evil boogeyman that would start coercing people in the absence of our current coercers?

                        All in all, we’re being ruled over now because we’ve been indoctrinated to believe we need to be ruled over. That without rulers, there would be chaos and mayhem everywhere, and people would be killing each other on the streets.

                        So when people stop believing they need rulers, no one can create “a state” anymore. Not even “capitalists”.

                        1. 2

                          Hey, I wanted to reply to this weeks ago but it got lost in the kerfuffle. Hopefully you’ll see this.

                          We might be. What’s “private power”?

                          This quote from Peter Kropotkin may help:

                          We cry shame on the feudal baron who forbade the peasant to turn a clod of earth unless he surrendered to his lord a fourth of his crop. We call those the barbarous times. But if the forms have changed, the relations have remained the same, and the worker is forced, under the name of free contract, to accept feudal obligations. For, turn where he will, he can find no better conditions. Everything has become private property, and he must accept, or die of hunger.

                          In modern times, private power may look like a landlord asking for rent, which forces the tenent to find a job and submit to the wishes of his employer. I consider this to be power, because the choice between working and starving or being homeless is no freer a choice than the choice between paying taxes and suffering the IRS’s penalties.

                          It’s been a while since I learned about the industrial revolution in history class, but I remember that horrendous working conditions were commonplace, and only improved when government regulations were imposed

                          I can’t see why conditions wouldn’t improve through market forces alone.

                          Employers want to make as much money as possible, and to that end, they want to have the best workers they can get, and so they need to compete for them.

                          Competing for the best employees happens through offering them a better deal, including working conditions, than other employers. Employers don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding new employees to replace ones that quit either, which also means they have an incentive to keep them happy.

                          That’s obviously how it goes without any interference from non-market-forces, such as the government deciding where and how workers can unionize, like in China again.

                          It’s far from obvious to me that it would go that way. An employer would increase wages only if it resulted in a comparatively greater increase in revenue. In the case of coal mining, I doubt somebody only willing to work for twice the wages would produce twice the coal. And we can also look at history and see that it didn’t go that way: working conditions were grotesque for decades before regulations were imposed.

                          What’s to prevent capitalists from creating a state with which to coerce people?

                          That’s an “ideological” question, is it not? Why are “capitalists” specifically some kind of evil boogeyman that would start coercing people in the absence of our current coercers?

                          Well capitalists already coerce people in the way I described above. They also coerce people indirectly by influencing the state to do coercive things on their behalf. I think what makes them power hungry coercers is their position in capitalist instututions, not the presence of a state.

                          All in all, we’re being ruled over now because we’ve been indoctrinated to believe we need to be ruled over. That without rulers, there would be chaos and mayhem everywhere, and people would be killing each other on the streets.

                          So when people stop believing they need rulers, no one can create “a state” anymore. Not even “capitalists”.

                          Now you’re starting to sound like an anarchist :)

                          I generally agree, but I believe the private power of capitalist instututions is not compatible with the sort of free society you describe. And I don’t think eliminating the state while preserving capitalist institutions is any way to get there.