Is Capitalism Voluntary?



here's something that an captain and coms alike don't actually know you can live without a job you just want to live luxuriously find a YouTube channel called primitive technology every single person who currently lives in poverty semicolon if they really tried semicolon could walk out into the wilderness and live in the Paleolithic era Jesus pleases that's part of a real comment I got on my video about wine and cats are not anarchists and it contains what I am forced to assume is a real opinion that Richard Black holds and is willing to admit out loud I mean really this is just a poorly construed version of the most common rebuttal I get to any content I make that criticizes capitalism hey guy capitalism is voluntary I mean if you think about it that's the moral basis for free-market capitalism the market is made up of people making choices to trade things with one another so don't complain about it because it's your choice you knucklehead you can just pack your bags and move away build a new non capitalist society like Richard Black suggests just walk into the woods and build yourself a mud hut and you know what that'd that'd actually work if nobody on earth was disabled infirm needed medicine or lived in an area with an inhospitable climate also everyone had access to the huge tracts of land needed to grow food without modern infrastructure also the capitalist societies that they currently live in just let them go and also wave property taxes for this anti-capitalist experiment for some reason also the capitalists wouldn't just take all your stuff if you started making something profitable or useful to them even though they'd have the largest militaries in the world at their back and you literally live in a mud hut also like you don't care about leaving your friends family and home behind but okay alright but even granting all of those things it's still a pretty raw deal would you accept living in a communist dictatorship under the proviso that you could if you so chose walk into the woods and start a new society would having that option make the actions of a communist dictator just no obviously not having the option to flee a system does not make that system voluntary it just gives you the option of becoming a refugee but let's face it the idea that anyone can walk away from their current civilization into the woods and start a new society from scratch is a fantasy it's not like minecraft you can't just walk into the woods punch a few trees and build a village all of the land and resources you'd need are either owned privately or assumed to be de facto owned by whatever government lays claim to your particular location the actual reality of the matter is you don't have a choice but to live within capitalism as long as capitalism maintains hegemonic control over the place you live you are forced to participate even if you don't want to capitalists are right to say that the choices they make within capitalism are usually voluntary nobody is able to compel you to buy one type of toothpaste over another or to buy a toothpaste at all hey man if you don't care about your teeth falling out that's does your business that's freedom but let me ask you this what is it truly mean for something to be voluntary and I don't mean that in some way she wash eat this free will exist type away look at it this way if you're mugged is giving your money to the mugger voluntary no why not you chose to do it in order for a choice to be voluntary you have to be free to not choose it without harm coming to you it really doesn't matter if the cause of that harm is implicit in the choice or the result of human coercion much to the chagrin of right libertarians who insist only the latter counts and twists themselves into knots trying to justify that position my choice to eat or sleep is not voluntary I have to do those things because I'll die if I don't and I don't want to die I got too many cartoons to watch I am however not forced by any other party to eat or sleep I have the option to not sleep if I choose to but it's not a meaningful choice because of the dying likewise I could in theory choose not to sell my labor to my boss no one is compelling me to do it by force but it wouldn't have access to all of the things that I need to live if I didn't I could choose to work for someone else but I couldn't choose not to have a job at all even if I like my job doing it is still not voluntary because they have to have a job or I'll be destitute and that's fine but it presents a few problems like it ruins our ability to negotiate for better conditions more control over our workplace or better pay you have to work to live but the boss doesn't need you specifically for anything they just need people like you they can get rid of you if you're too difficult because there are a lot more people like you than there are jobs available ah but Casey you say just work somewhere else or start your own business well this can be a relatively difficult concept for privileged people with lots of employment prospects to grasp but changing jobs isn't always easy or possible for a lot of workers particularly where the bulk of scarce jobs being created are extremely precarious work for hire scams with zero stability or benefits and like even if you could just hop to a new job it most likely wouldn't be very different there's an incredible amount of lobbying power dedicated to keeping wages depressed even as productivity and profits skyrocket good luck trying to change that or demanding more money they have you over the barrel because if you don't accept the meager amount they can legally get away with paying you you'll just have to starve sorry that's freedom as for starting your own business well that's expensive and risky and the resources that some people used to do it or not equitably distributed well-off people can afford to go a few years without their company turning a profit and have better access to loans and startup capital and here's a wake-up call there aren't enough jobs to go around which is gonna get worse as automation keeps replacing more and more of the workforce if the only way to survive is by having a job and there aren't enough jobs that means that a lot of people don't get to survive not because we don't have enough resources we have more than enough resources it's because distributing them more fairly hurts the bottom line of a few rich perverts it's more profitable to have a few people work a lot of hours than lots of people working a few hours so the more desperate people get for work the more extra labor you can extract from them and the less you have to compensate them in return it's not how I want it to be and I don't I didn't volunteer for that but it's not just how we work that's defined by these asymmetrical power relations and capitalism it's the things that we consume to live hey do you need insulin well it could be produced and distributed as cheaply as beer but that's not profitable enough so you'll just have to pay whatever exorbitant price we decide to charge you I don't know like fifteen hundred dollars a year that ought to do it but don't worry it's voluntary you always have the option to go into diabetic shock and die that's freedom that's what that's what freedom is in capitalism you don't just get exploited you're also forced to become an exploiter of others do you like child labour I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that no you don't because you're not an oozing on stir who should be banished to whose Island do you buy products from companies like Nestle Walmart H&M gap or Apple well all of those companies have been busted using child labor oops okay fine that's fine I'll just choose to not buy things made using exploitative labor because I'm a good good socialist boy I'm gonna vote with my wallet all I have to do is check on all the companies involved in selling manufacturing and distributing all of the products I use and all of their suppliers and all of their suppliers all the way the supply chain and I'm gonna have to double-check all the data personally to ensure they haven't been given by corrupt officials or whitewashed by corporate flunkies that's all perfectly reasonable that's something you'd expect a person to do when they want to buy a t-shirt okay let me just crunch the numbers here um wait a minute this data can't be right according to this whole production is exploitative under capitalism Oh No bosses are extracting surplus value from their employees what are we going to do so why do we nurse believe that capitalism is voluntary well because they personally would volunteer for it they like it people who don't like it well they have to have the option to walk away or the whole thing is imposed on them and that's tyranny it really doesn't matter how tenuous and farcical the terms of walking away are what matters is that the option technically sort of exists if you squint hard enough and look at it sideways they don't interrogate this assumption with anything approaching good faith because they're scared of what they might find out if they did that they like capitalism because they believe rightly or wrongly that it benefits them not because it's fair that capitalism is fundamentally unjust and always was worst of all that their successes and failures are largely outside of their personal control because every aspect of their lives is dictated by an unfeeling uncaring death cult of rich perverts born into astronomical wealth in a world that is getting poorer and working harder every day I'd love to retreat from those hard truths into a childish fantasy of living in the woods – but I'm an adult and I live on planet earth and we have to face facts capitalism is evil it's killing us it was forced on us and it must be dismantled and Elon Musk must be brought to justice for his sins hey Charlie I got a thousand subscribers coming up no big deal you don't have to get me a present or anything but I was hoping to do a Q&A video to celebrate so I opened up a curious cat account for people to ask questions or they can ask questions in the comments of this video but I figured you'd want to know because you're a curious cat you're curious cat




Comments
  1. Capitalists don't own militaries. Even as far as mercenaries and private security contractors go, what do you think would happen to the value of Microsoft stock if they decided to invest in an army and go invade some weak country? Every single "argument" in this video is hyperbole.

    You make up these scenarios where with capitalism you have to choose between being a slave at one sweat shop or another OR go live in the woods. Why? Like in your other video, there is only one well in town and the person who owns it gets to exploit everyone for the water from it, even though those people apparently helped to build it. Why did those people live in a place with ONE site suitable for a well? Why did they build the well with no contract about usage for it? Why can't they move? Why would someone even want to exploit those people for water – couldn't the water just be a necessity to attract people for other reasons? Start making your examples more specific and they rapidly begin to fall apart.

  2. 0:08 live luxuriously apparently is not having the risk of dying from hypothermia or heat stroke or cholera or not accidentally eating diseased animals that can mess you up.

  3. The thing that you are not aware of is that hippie communes have existed and they still do exist. There are in fact communes, existing in the USA right now, that you can go to and live on and farm. There are also certain cities, I would namely list Portland, OR, where there are many "art communes" in the city which are generally always filled with and taking care of "artists", which to others are just creative kids deciding to be homeless. In these networks of commune farmers and artists you can strangely find most of everything you need, from medicinal aid, to art resources, to psychedelic drugs. I spent a good portion of my life circulating in such communities, it was some great years of my life. Had amazing psychedelic trips, got laid a lot, found my personal art style, made some amazing art, working on the farm kept me in amazing physical shape. Living outside of Capitalist hierarchy in the USA was awesome. I highly recommend anyone go spend a good amount of their life doing it. But to go find it you need to leave your bedroom, you seem like the type that doesn't do that a lot. It's not like these farm and art communities actively post on the web all like, "hey loser nerd complaining about how bad your life sucks on youtube, come take psychedelic drugs with us, make art and have lots of sex". You need to go find these places. Develop yourself. Figure out how to be creative and attractive. The truth is Capitalism in the USA is voluntary because there are functioning and sustaining communes, and there a lot of people who have chosen to live on them and not participate in capitalist corporate business world.

    But for me personally being a hippie got old and boring, then I joined the capitalist world, fighting my way in mega-corporate hierarchies, and I find it so much more fun.

  4. To the person who wrote the intro comment semicolon I was homeless for 8 months semicolon that's a good way to get arrested.

    The only way I know someone could potentially live like that where I live (illinois) is in a national forest but even then you would have to move a minimum of a mile every fourteen days. Plus while being homeless isn't Illegal some of the things one has to do while homeless are.

  5. Poorly worded, inarticulate, near word salad, but you do make some agreeable points.
    For instance, 5:24 I don't know what your position on open borders is, but this is a great argument against them.

  6. Ah, yes you know that the bosses and ceos are really trying to pay the least they can legally pay you when >90% of jobs are above minimum wage

  7. This argument comes across especially stupid if like me you live in a country where every single bit of spare land is owned by someone, you can't legally hunt wild animals, and you have to get planning permission to build even a small dwelling. It's always pissed me off that the capitalist class won't allow me to work for my own living in the wild, then makes out that I'm lazy when I don't want to work for them. I'm not lazy, I'd happily work all day hunting gathering and living in a treehouse but you won't fucking let me!

  8. A lot of people only need the salary of 1-2 days of work for their basic needs, but they still work the whole week. If you rent cheap, cook yourself and don't own a car you live really cheap and you can enjoy your free time.

    Capitalism produces good products and if you live like this you can have a good life. Peace!

  9. Choice has nothing to do with harm, as long as nobody forces you, its free choice. Or are you going to deny the suffragettes of the choice to starve out of protest, or the Vietnamese of the choice to burn themselves? Or of firefighters of the choice to put themselves into harms way to save peoples lives? People make choices involving harm all the time.

    Changing jobs isn't always easy, correct. So why would your answer to a lack of choices be even less choice? Do you see the contradiction?

    Yes there is lobbying power, which manifests in regulation. Exactly what almost every capitalist is against. This is not news to us.

    No you don't have to starve, there are other companies you can work for. At least if you allow a free and open market of competition.

    Yes starting your own business is expensive and risky, exactly the reason why most people choose to not do it and decide to get employed to off set the risk onto someone else who is willing to take on the risk and as part of the deal is allowed to reap the benefits.

    However, because of capitalism it is easier than ever to start your own business, and will almost certainly get even easier and less risky in the future.

    There aren't enough jobs because of licensing and regulation. Which is what we capitalists have been saying forever.

    I was waiting for the word fairness.
    Fairness is subjective and therefore cannot be used in a reasonable argument without you first defining what you consider to be fair. And I am fairly certain that I and many others will disagree with you on what you consider fair. So who is right, again we all are because fairness is subjective and therefore should not be used as a guiding principal. Otherwise you will forever be at war with everyone who disagrees with you.

    Why is it more profitable to have a few people work lots of hours? That makes no sense.

    "the more desperate people get for work…" Therefore you agree with me its important to allow people to have MORE choices in life as to what they want to do. So, and bare with me here, what we should do is make it as easy as possible for people to start businesses, so we have lots of competition in the employment market…

    Insulin is so expensive because the GOVERNMENT gives a monopoly to that company, if only the government would butt out of the market and allow other companies to compete.

    Child labor? can I ask, what do you think children did before capitalism? Child labor has been the norm throughout history until capitalism came along you dimwit.

    "Bosses are extracting surplus value from employees" YOU LITERALLY JUST CONFIRMED THAT STARTING A BUSINESS IS EXPENSIVE AND RISKY.

    They always have the option to walk away. You, however, want to give them the option to walk away while taking other peoples property, because out of some reason you have this delusional believe that it belongs to you and get surprised when people decide to defend their own property.

    Justice, like fairness is subjective.

    HOW IS THE WORLD GETTING POORER? ARE YOU DELUSIONAL?

    why do you need to live in the woods? you can live on a field, in the desert, in the arctic, under a waterfall, in your car, on a boat in the water, or just live in a god damn house. Why do you keep going on about the woods?

    Let me ask you this, if you manage to dismantle capitalism (which i'm guessing will involve a lot of bloodshed but never mind). What if I choose, voluntarily, under your socialist society, to work for someone else for pay? Will you stop me, will I be sent to prison?

  10. Okay, anarcho-capitalists who want me to go and live in the woods. So you found out it's not actually possible? Alright… then make it possible! Abolish completely the ownership of land. That's a good start. Then move on to abolishing the ownership of food on the land. Then you'd have to introduce some kind of stringent rules to absolutely ensure that the spread and variety of the ecosystem remains roughly comparable to the bygone days when people did just simply go out and live in woods. And so on and so forth until your world is realistically comparable and realistically optional. Good luck having your system still be capitalist once you're done!

  11. Yeah sure, I’ll just go on out into the Bush and make myself at home. Should be easy for me to do, right?

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m disabled. Mostly bedbound and use a wheelchair. But me not going out to the Bush to live is totally a voluntary thing that I’m doing… 😂😝

  12. If we coordinate like half the worlds population to stop working and stop spending money on the regular market for like a month, the whole system will collapse. Who's down?

  13. In England if I walked out into the woods and built a mud hut I'd get thrown off the land by the person who owned the woods. Homesless people construct makeshift slums occasionally around here and they are forced off the land for illigal trespassing, onto the streets. Where they are actively fined in some cities for sleeping rough.

  14. Alright so I'm on board with you 100%, is there anything we can really do though? I feel like this systematic change is just impossible in my lifetime.

  15. Reading the comments, I realize people just randomly blames capitalism for all the problems of the world. Government arresting hunter-gatherer societies? Capitalism! National forest fees? Capitalism! Racism? Capitalism!
    Guys, read the freaking definition of capitalism!

  16. Dude, if you're angry because humans are prone to starvation, sickness and death, then you are not mad at capitalism, you're mad at reality. I'm sorry to say this, but you will always depend on somebody else to supply you. Resources will always be finite and scarce no matter what economic system you are in.

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