Posts tagged "capitalism"

Do Publicly Owned, Planned Economies Work?

A post by Stephen Gowans.

What we need to progress as a human civilization is more diversity in how we are organizing ourselves, in how we run our economies, and in which values we pursue. We need a global understanding that such diversity is important and we should establish ways for countries to try and experiment with different paths. Even if we do not believe that their path is correct we should be proud that they are walking it and we should help them if needed. We will all learn as a result.

If we really believe that our system is better, do we really need to actively try to undermine the other system? We could even help it, if they need anything, and once it will collapse (if, but our system is better and the only with a future!), with all circumstances being positive for it, including us helping, we will know for sure that it is really a worse system. We can even then help those brave explorers who hit the floor. But, until then, let us have some diversity and encouragement for each other when trying something new.

The fact that Spartacus lost a war does not mean that slavery is a great system. How many more years of exploration of various systems were needed before we realized that?

Sharing economy and its non-sharing truth

Term “sharing economy” was coopted. It has little to do with real sharing. It has as much with sharing as my landlord “shares” the apartment to me. This is not sharing. Sharing economy became another term for renting, lending, outsourcing, only that the units of “sharing” are now smaller because information technology backing sharing economy allow less overhead in coordination and transactions. Oh, and of course, almost no regulation and oversight. So less paperwork. No contracts are signed, no responsibility or liability, no labor rights, no insurance. In real sharing you also have none of those, so is maybe this the only thing which sharing economy shares with real sharing?

It is interesting to notice that a web service is not seen as sharing economy if it just facilitates real sharing between people, without having an intermediary in between which is collecting a commission every time somebody shares something. You need that intermediary charging a commission for a service to become sharing economy.

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