Capitalism ruthlessly selects for psychopathic behavior. The less empathy and regard for other life a person has the more successful they become. The more egoistic the individual the more the system rewards them. These are the people who get selected to the top of the hierarchy.

@yogthos it's important to understand that "system" here actually means "people". Normal, well-meaning people around and including us rewarding aggressive behavior for "winning". We like winners.

@isagalaev I think that it's a natural selection problem. When people exist within a particular framework successful people adapt their behaviors to maximize personal gain within that framework. Capitalism selects for psychopathic behavior and so we select for psychopaths at the top of the food chain.

@yogthos I'm… not sure it has anything to do with capitalism itself. Sounds more like human nature to me. Feudal societies were quite rich in psychopathic lords and rulers as far as I know.

Regardless, fostering social institutions is the only way to fight that. As in, societies where psycho- and sociopaths are being limited should theoretically win in the long wrong. But it should be a conscious effort to maintain this, it won't happen by itself.

@isagalaev @yogthos

1) Capitalism doesn't have to be the first system to select for antisocial behavior in order to be a system that selects for antisocial behavior.
2) Just because something has been done for ages, and some people might call it "natural" and give it a shine of cosmic justice, doesn't mean it shouldn't be improved.

But you agree with point (2) already. The question is, what kind of system *can* we design that rewards pro-social behavior and scaled to billions of people one way or another? We've tried a couple that didn't work out so well.
@isagalaev @yogthos It's just soft capitalism and we've tried it for a century. We still select for jerks.

@clacke @isagalaev I think social democracy can work when we have democracy in the workplace. If businesses are run as cooperatives where all the employees have a voice regarding how the business is run, then we can have a reasonable democracy.

I think another big aspect is having limits on the gap between the highest and lowest earners. For example, Mondragon cooperative has a rule that the highest income cannot be more than 8x the lowest income.

@yogthos @clacke "all the employees have a voice regarding how the business is run, then we can have a reasonable democracy." — that unfortunately tends to happen at the expense of efficiency. People on lower levels of responsibility tend to think they know what the company should do, but in reality they usually simply lack information for making those decisions. That's why hierarchies actually work.

(Unless I completely misunderstand what you're saying, in which case, fuck the medium :-) )

@isagalaev @clacke I'm quite ok sacrificing efficiency in favor of better working conditions and a humane work environment.

If I follow your argument correctly, then we should prefer totalitarian regimes to democratic ones in general, unless I'm misunderstanding?

@yogthos @clacke no, I certainly didn't imply totalitarian regimes are efficient :-)

Sacrificing *some* efficiency in the workplace is totally fine, but I do believe it's better achieved by setting legal limits on what businesses can do, instead of trying actual democracy. Because that would not just reduce efficiency, but completely kill any ability to achieve results.

@isagalaev @clacke I think the goals of the businesses and workplace conditions should be decided democratically. However, I don't think voting on solutions makes a lot of sense, and this is where we tend to go wrong with democracies in general.

I think once you decide on what the goals are, you should get experts involved to help you achieve those goals.

@clacke @yogthos a century sounds like a stretch. It only started to happen in 1970s, I believe, when Reagan and Thatcher went hard right, while a few other European countries played with left ideas and settled on what they are now. So far it looks like it works better than US in particular. And I certainly don't expect a perfect utopian society in such a short time.

Remember, most people are still going to be jerks towards other people, it's hard to overcome that.

@isagalaev @yogthos The Social Democratic Party has been in charge of Sweden since 1936, with 3--8-year interruptions in the 70s, 90s and 10s. So ok, 80 years.

@clacke @yogthos I should look into that, thanks. One thing, the name of a party doesn't necessarily mean it does what we might expect :-)

@isagalaev @yogthos Good point!

I think it can generally be said that until the 70s the Social Democrats did indeed try to implement socialism through democratic means.

The 70s is when they first lost power to a coalition of centrists, liberals and liberal-conservatives, due to income taxes being too high.

Socialization peaked when the Social Democrats under pressure from the unions implemented Worker's Funds ("löntagagarfonder") in 1983 for the unions to be awarded shares in the companies where their members worked.

Since then, the Swedish economy has gradually liberalized, in particular under a right-wing coalition again in 1991-1994 and under the Social Democrats in 1998. This has resulted in faster growing GDP, at the cost of greater income disparity.

@clacke @isagalaev I think this is the fundamental problem with capitalist democracies. The capital accumulates at the top, and this gives the capitalist class a higher level of influence than the workers. They naturally use this influence to drive policies favorable to them.

Therefore capitalist social democracies are inherently unstable as they're continuously being eroded by capitalist interests.

@isagalaev @yogthos Good point!

I think it can generally be said that until the 70s the Social Democrats did indeed try to implement socialism through democratic means.

The 70s is when they first lost power to a coalition of centrists, liberals and liberal-conservatives, due to income taxes being too high.

Socialization peaked when the Social Democrats under pressure from the unions implemented Worker's Funds ("löntagagarfonder") in 1983 for the unions to be awarded shares in the companies where their members worked.

Since then, the Swedish economy has gradually liberalized, in particular under a right-wing coalition again in 1991-1994 and under the Social Democrats in 1998. This has resulted in faster growing GDP, at the cost of greater income disparity.
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