ERE VS capitalism

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hong
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ERE VS capitalism

Post by hong » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:19 am

The following is a self-dialogue. ERE believes in self-sustainability: being able to grow one's food, be financially independent, etc. On the other hand, there is CIG (Capitalism Is Good), who prefers division of labor, perhaps capitalism in general.

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ERE:
I like to be self-sustainable one day. That entails: be financially independent, being able to grow my own food, being able to repair my own stuffs, etc. I see that as a healthier lifestyle: doing a bit of everything forces you to grow a lot, both physically and intellectually. Leaving consumerism is better for the environment too. Living in this lifestyle, I have more control over my food, tools and home.

CIG:
You cannot be good at everything you do. Practically speaking, it is impossible to do everything on your own. Even you adopt ERE lifestyle, you will need to purchase / acquire tools made by someone else.

Hong:
I think it is a matter of balance. Division of labour is essential for every human. But overly rely on that, you lost independence, survival skills, and ability to adopt new life situations [for example, earning income on a highly specialized skill can be risky because demand on a skill can fluctuate].

CIG:
In capitalistic society, you have control over your food, tools and home as well. Simply do your research and choose a goods / service provider that aligns with your views.

ERE:
The so-called "research" are met with marketing propaganda. If I grow my own food, I know everything about it. I know exactly what I am putting into my mouth. In cases where products don't matter much, getting a standard M3 screw for example, it is totally feasible to simply buy it. ERE doesn't mean "doing everything on our own", but "having a fund enough to be self-sustainable, AND knowing what to buy".

Hong:
It seems the problem lies on where to draw the line on "being self-reliant" and "rely on others". Let's pick some specifics to discuss. Visiting restaurants instead of cooking. Yes or no?

ERE:
Cooking is healthier, it teaches you a great deal on food. You have full control on cooking, hygiene, etc. Treating it seriously, your skill level improves with time. That also makes you a more interesting person to talk to. Restaurants often charge a lot more than what a dish is worth. To attract customers, a lot of them use too much oil and salt. Eating at home allows quiet private conversation, to get similar environment in restaurant can be costly.

CIG:
(1) Certain dishes are too complicated for laymen to make. Chefs are professionals who spend their waking hours thinking how to improve cooking. Individuals can hardly beat that. ERE, you have to admit that some restaurants are worth the experience.
(2) Customers visiting restaurants save a lot of time and mind. They can use this resources to more value-added activities, something he is good at doing. Overall speaking, this division of labour improve the living standard [in this example, food quality] of everybody.
In capitalism, no one forces customers to make certain choices. Options are offered to customers. A health-conscious customers can choose restaurants that align with his preference. If nothing in market satisfies someone, he can as well starts a business based on that niche.

Hong:
The best choice probably lies between two extreme: a combination of cautious eating-out and cooking. In any case, a dose of mindfulness is required to avoid mediocrity.

ERE:
(1)(2) holds IF businesses are honest and seek excellence. This is far from the truth. In modern times, businesses that seeks every ways to maximize their profit tends to flourish and dominate, but an extreme pursuit of profit is harmful to both employees and customers. Cost-savings are applied in places where customers do not notice (e.g., whether the sauce used contains controversial food additives).
Generally speaking, consumers are passive service / goods receiver. As a result, consumerism tends to shape a mediocre, standardized taste in customers. CIG, this is an anti-humanity development.

Hong:
Summarizing this argument, perhaps I can conclude that:
(A) Everybody is better off, if division of labour / business is honest. Capitalism should be re-designed so that corporations are founded on principles that promote humanity.
(B) If standardized commercial packages can satisfy one's needs at a reasonable price, then it's fine to just go for it, and note the danger of acquiring a standardized taste. It is always a good idea to actively try new things and reflect on "default choices" one frequently make in life.
(C) It helps to stay curious and investigate the truth behind simple-looking goods / service.

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BRUTE
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by BRUTE » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:39 am

this dichotomy is artificial. brute loves both ERE and capitalism. they do not contradict each other whatsoever. certainly capitalism doesn't mean "there has to be division of labor for everything", and that humans are not allowed to cook their own food.

A)brute humbly requests definition of "honest", "principles that promote humanity", and probably "humanity".
B)true, but that seems akin to personal philosophy and completely orthogonal to capitalism
C)see B)

Jean
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by Jean » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:56 am

People are stupid and every system will end up sucking. ERE is just a way to survive under capitalism.

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TopHatFox
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:25 am

^ ding ding ding

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7Wannabe5
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 am

I think people are more intelligent than the results of rigid reliance on any of the simple (not adequately complex) systems they devise would indicate. A good deal of the problem is due to the fact that there is much friction produced at the boundary between impulsive and compulsive behavior.

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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by jennypenny » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:14 am

Going off the OP conversation, I think the problem is when there is no distinction between food as sustenance and food as entertainment. For ERE, food as sustenance can be sourced fairly inexpensively and reliably. Food as entertainment should be lumped in with all other entertainment and accounted for as such. I think the 'stupid' you're referring to is when people conflate needs with desires, which I don't think has much to do with capitalism. In your example, capitalism appears broken because people routinely source their sustenance from entertainment-level providers. That's a user error, not a system error.

Do I think there are flaws in capitalism? Sure. IMO an argument can be made for leaning socialist for people's core needs and letting capitalism rip when it comes to discretionary spending. OTOH, an argument can be made that ERE is easier in the US than in more socialist-leaning countries because of the flexibility in spending. I like having the flexibility (and the waste that comes with capitalism from which I can source my own needs), but I would like to see a sturdier floor put in so that others in my sphere are taken care of and don't become a concern of mine in the future.

Jean
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by Jean » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:41 am

In switzerland, many people consider 2500 a month as needs... I don't think we could agree on this with our fellow citizens.

daylen
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by daylen » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:20 am

I think the (Sensing-intuition) dimension is a source of great tension. Some attend to the details of the present moment, while some view reality through a more metaphysical lens. The ability to delay gratification requires familiarity with possible futures, and 70% of the population avoids making decisions based on abstract information. This dimension is not completely independent from the orders of consciousness (4th and 5th orders can construct ideal futures based on logic or idealization).

I do not think that people are much different in the amount of information they attend to, but people are very different in what they desire to pay attention to. Individual preferences are based mostly on differences in underlying physiology (nature). This is an eternal problem between now and later.

Sid
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by Sid » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:19 pm

One thing I always ask my friends is: Would it be better to improve the system we have, or implement a whole new system? They usually say try to fix the one we have (as an enfj friend recently said). I would rather see a new one put in place (an an intj friend of mine thinks), it seems like jennypenny is saying something similar, perhaps with an ERE floor, and Daylen is saying it should be built by people in the 4th + 5th orders of consciousness or those whose minds are consumed by the future rather than the present. If this is the case, then the next thing to do is create the system!

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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:26 pm

My stance/strategy is always to solve for the "from here to there" problem. I don't see the point in inventing new systems if there's no way to evolve towards them from the current system(*). Therefore all solutions have to be functional within the both the current system and the new system. The new system then appears as an emergent quality insofar enough people adapt the solution.

(*) Given individual action. <- This also means I make certain assumptions about agency.

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BRUTE
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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by BRUTE » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:45 pm

unfortunately, leaving a local maximum to venture towards a scary, unknown potential higher maximum seems to be tricky, especially if it requires large numbers of humans to act in a coordinated fashion.

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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by sky » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:39 pm

ERE is successful capitalism because one finances one's needs through invested capital. Reduction of desires through careful analysis of needs is a capitalist strategy. A consumerist is a victim of capitalism ready for exploitation. An ERE agent is a supercapitalist who turns the consumer system upon itself .

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Re: ERE VS capitalism

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:56 pm

As I said in the other thread, I don't see capitalism as being a big part of ERE. ERE is a systems-design that maximizes resource use along multiple dimensions (forms of capital). It's just that in countries where specialization (any industralized country), consumerism (any developed country after 1920, some later), and capitalism (much older, but mainly anglo-countries) dominate, money is a fairly one-dimensional measuring stick.

For example, people in the EU should figure out what the "applied social democracy" would look like in terms of ERE.
Hint: Because it's a mixed economy, it pretty much looks like applied capitalism except taxes are higher and the health care system actually works.

To a very large degree, within ERE, money eventually mainly serves to pay head tax to the system using the system itself to pay for it. Functionally it's like buying muni-bonds to pay your real estate taxes. Of course this does not preclude Pareto optimal concerns like acquiring resources in other ways. The ultimate goal is not to make your $1500 value sandwich from scratch but to find the optimal way of making it. On a practical level, ERE is a protest that consumers are often specialized to the point of incompetence. Most realize that they should pay their dentist to fix their cavities but not to brush their teeth. However, culture often err way to much towards the latter.

With a wide dimensional range of capital it's actually somewhat rare that actual money is needed to pay for something. Probably the easiest way to distinguish between ERE and more conventional FIRE or consumerism is to look at a budget. The ERE budget will not be 20, 50, or 70% lower on all list items. Rather, some will be -0- while others (like insurance costs) will be the same as everybody else.

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