[extropy-chat] Democracy + Capitalism

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Tue May 10 05:31:21 UTC 2005

Natasha wrote:

> I do think that democracy and capitalism do hit many of the
> same spaces. Or perhaps I reading too many business journals
> and marketing plans.

Within a democratic country capitalism and democracy might indeed
cover the same geographic space, in the US for instance, people who
provide capital and people who provide labour domestically are both
protected as people by the same Bill of Rights.  

But you'd mentioned globalisation and capitalism when it seeks the
best opportunities for profit in the world can seek them in places
where labour is not covered by the US Bill of Rights. 

> For example, a 401(k) plan is in the shared domain of democracy
> and capitalism. 
> capitalism is profit making.  Our retirement plans are privately 
> owned (IRA, Roth IRA, etc.).  That is our money for our retirement.
> We select what we want to invest in --  stock, index funds, mutual 
> funds, etc., thus it is a democratic process.

How is that democratic? Sure I can see that you have choices, but those
are choices about how you allocate your capital, that has nothing to do
with democracy that I can see. 

The human rights exposure is on the labour side not the capital side. If
capital is free to source labour anywhere in the world including in places
where human rights are at a lesser level than where the capital operates
from it has incentives for doing just that in order to maximize profits. 

Brett Paatsch

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list