First, a simple lesson: All human choice is based on decisions, we make the decision we believe will leave us better off. A transaction will take place only if the price is less then what I value it at, and more then what the seller values it at, so for a sale to take place, if I value it at $2, and the seller values it at $1, the the trade will be for between one and two $. Likewise, I value my job and not getting fired, during working hours, then I do spending it as leisure. That is a personal choice. These two types of choices are no different (some people have a hard time accepting that a choice between eating an apple or eating cheese puffs is the same thing as grocery shopping, but it is). Once in a while we regret making a decision, which in hindsight another choice would have been better, but we learn from it. Risks also play in here, we get in our cars because we believe the benefit of driving a certain distance outweighs the cost of maintenance, gas, and the risk of getting in an accident.
Communism is fundamentally flawed, in that you can't just assign values to products, because then prices don't relate to how much consumers actually value the product, and you have taken out a significant chunk of the purpose of trade. Efficiency is also lost, since entrepreneurs no longer plan for the most efficient use of resources. Central planning doesn't work, because since there are no market prices, you cannot determine the most effective use of resources without running a stimulation that looks surprisingly similar to a free market.
All distrust that I see with capitalism seems to stem from the fact it makes no distinction between what people want
and what people need
. Much more seems to be the fact that not all people are equal, and some seem to get disproportionate amounts of pay, for example. Attempts to seperate the two always prove sour, for example, the difference between needing gas to buy food or deliver another needed good to a remote location, and wanting gas to drive out to the beach. You cannot seperate the two making a trade. Another example, you need food. What food you choose is a want. Your choice of the cheese puff is a want, the choice of food in general is a need (well, to a point).
Improving society is ultimately going to be done through personal education (so your personal choices match efficient and effective choices), more efficient methods of producing common needs (unrestricted international trade included), no artificial restrictions on social mobility (this is a very good case for anonymity), and ability to travel from a place with few resources to a place with more resources (akin to the gold rush, this is Africa's biggest problem right now, along with education, self-confidence, and freedom). Note all of these solutions are not just capitalistic, but depend on freedom--ALL freedoms: economic, social, and the right to life and liberty.
VannA wrote:There is no mechanism for Free Will within our knowledge of sub-atomic or quantum-physics. Ignoring for the moment that there is no real evidence the brain can even effect those states.
Ugh... quantum mechanics is random. Therefore, there is no way to tell if there is free will or not. Also consider, we believe that we can make choices, we cannot replicate the same situation twice, and our choices appear to have an affect on the future, therefore, even if free will is false, it just doesn't matter
. For the sake of the topic, it does not matter.
(I personally view it as multiple "parallel" universes, what decisions we make chooses which universe we end up in later. Fork off a thread for free will if you really want to continue discussion please).