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Forums > Social Discussion > pro-ana anorexia as a lifestyle

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:ive recently been reading somthing positive (a web comic) and they mentioned pro-ana - intrigued i did some research and found this is it just me or is this slightly wrong?



i also saw this in the philosophy section of the and it made me laugh



 Written by: plague angel



Don't believe everything you are told ... by anyone.



... question everything ...

... do your own research ...

... form your own conclusions ...



If the majority believes it, it is probably wrong.





murder is a good thing then? wink



even better is the "know thine enemy page" in which i found this quote



 Written by: plague angel



While it is true that fiber is an important part of your diet, even necessary to protect you from some diseases, carbohydrates themselves are not necessary. There are "essential" fatty acids and "essential" amino acids (from protein), however there are no known essential carbohydrates.







now i havnt done biology or food studies etc for a while but im pretty sure carbs in some form are needed...


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I'm not sure as to how far men control what "beauty" is. I mean, fair enough, lots of fashion designers are men. And men go out with pretty, fashionable girls, not ugly ducklings who don't spend a fortune on their hair and clothes - fine! But I usually find girls so much more bitchy about each other's clothes and looks than boys could ever be.



If girls can't even support each other for the way nature has made them, or they decide to look like, how can we put the blame on the men? We're (well, not me!) the ones spending the money on cosmopolitan or whatever other magazines telling us how to dress, diet or have sex. Girls put just as much pressure on their friends if they haven't had sex by age 14 as potential boyfriends do, and no wonder if the girl that hasn't thinks it's because she's unattractive, not because she maybe has higher standards than her friends.



"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

written by cole

i do however think it has roots way deeper than neoliberalism and would disagree that the reasons for its existance are largely political-economic and are rather, mainly sociocultural.




I don't think you can effectively seperate economics and politics one side side and culture and politics on the other. Its a system with circular feedback - politics and culture do not exist independently of each other despite the tents of modernism as defined by Max Weber's arguments to the contrary (oh crap... I've just done the pomo thing again by accident...)

 Written by:

i think you'd be hard pushed to show that it was a neoliberal capitalism system that initiated these attitudes...



Initiating attitudes is fairly slippery... There isn't a linear causal chain that anyone can point to here or anywhere else. Within a complex cultural network of ideas, images, affects and actions to claim this or that is directly responsible for anything is often problematic reductionism. Undoubtedly patriarchal attitudes have existed far longer than capitalism - and there is plently of good feminist literature which examines the multiplicity of traces of male domination of women manifest in contemporary society.

My comment - and i may well be wrong, feminism isn't a specialist areas of mine - was that anorexia and bulemia have only become relatively common ailments within the specific cultural formations of late capitalism... Post ww2 industrialised nations. Again, if you know of other cultures where anorexia is as (increasingly popular) as here/the US please share.

Sorry for hijacking your conversation... I do think the causes (note plural as in my initial post) of these problems are more intersting than the specifics of one website...

biggrin


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:I think we are mean to each other because of the competition to have the best whatever.

I fight the weight war by not having a scale in my house, not hanging out with women-I am catty and competitive (there is a whole long story behind it), and I just eat when I am hungry-hanging out with guys, I don't feel piggy eating whatever I want, because it is usually nothing in comparison ubbloco biggrin ubbloco


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:The topic has picked up again! w00t!

 Written by: coleman





one of the reasons i have been posting here is because i and others got fed up with wayne refusing to accept that the discussion could be about anything other than the critique of one specific pro-ana website's 'central premise' and his tactics of trying to disrupt any discussion of the topic apart from that premise.







Aww. Cmon. I didnt refuse to accept that the discussion couldnt be about other things, nor did I try to disrupt those discussions. I just chose not to participate in discussing the other topics since I didnt disagree with the points being made. In fact, I did such a good job of staying out of it that you accused me twice of ignoring you. smile



 Written by: coleman



wayne seems to has stopped posting obtuse and divisive remarks and, although he still seems to avoid acceptance or even acknowledgement of a counter-argument or any direct challenge of the concepts he presents (e.g. the true importance of carbs in a diet).





Regarding carbs, as I recall you insisted that this was an example of her being illogical and irrational. I think this remark was made under a misimpression, so I let it go once I showed that the remark wasn't even hers. However, I can respond to the substance of it if you like.



The confusion was caused when a quote was taken out of context on this thread (no offense, linden, you gave us the link so that we could see it in context, if we were diligent). People drew incorrect inferences from it, such as thinking that it was written by the author of the pro-ana site.



Research revealed that in fact it was part of an article on the role of carbs in nutrition, it appeared to be from a reliable medical authority, and nothing from any other medical authority has been yet found to show anything in the article to be untrue. Phellan called it pseudo-science, but also appeared to be under the misimpression that it was written by the author of the site (Phellan refered to the author as she when in fact the article was written by Ron Kennedy, M.D. from medical-library.net, who appears to be male.)



Phellan asserted that carbohydrates as a group are ALL essential but gave no source to back up this claim. If Phellan meant that you need carbs in order to survive then Phallan would be wrong. I will give you a quote from wikipedia, which is not itself an authority, but seems to correctly summarize the matter and contains references to authorities to back up its claims:



 Written by:



Strictly speaking, carbohydrates are not necessary for human nutrition because proteins can be converted to carbohydrates. The traditional diet of some cultures consists of very little carbohydrate[s], and these people remain relatively healthy







Of course, [s]ome problems have been cited for the long term effects of a no-carbohydrate diet for some individuals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbs
br>


I am not advocating a carb free diet, nor did the author of that article. Problems are associated with carb free diets. However, it seems that the author was correct to say that carbs are not essential.



I have read 2 of the sources in the wikipedia article, and they back up what the entry says. However, I am open to the possibility that they are wrong. Dont just say that it is wrong, though. Show that it is wrong from a superior authority.



One reason I have not bothered to argue over the importance of carbs is because I had learned early in school that proteins and fats can be substitutes for carbs. However, I am not content to say I heard it in school. Doing the research to find good sources (such as the ones listed at the bottom of the wikipedia article) is time consuming and tedious. However, I would not want to be accused again of failing to respond to a challenge. Someone might get the idea that I dislike debate or something.



Enough with the boring. Lets get to the fun stuff



 Written by: coleman



as for the religious fasting comparison, i am unaware of any religion that supports permamnent fasting.



fasting for spiritual reasons is restricted to a finite period, has a clear spiritual aim and is more often than not, connected to an ancient religious festival or rite.



choosing to live on the minimum amount of food, for as long as you can survive, for absolutely no reason other than "thin looks better" still sounds weird to me and cannot be fairly compared with religious fasting.







 Written by: Neon_Shaolin



I admire those who fast for Religious reasons to prove their devotion to their God but they will know that once the time to fast is over - like Ramadan (sp) they will go back to eating healthly.



The difference between this and religious fasting is





Perhaps you would care to peruse the site further. If you follow this link you will find that there is a strong religious component to her belief system. Apparently, she worships Anamadim, Guardian Servitor of the Anorectic Praxis.



If you were unaware of any religion that supports permamnent fasting then simply did not browse enough of the site. It seems that she now has a religious freedom claim, as well as a free speech claim.



I am unimpressed. Anamadim does not seem worthy of worship. However, this would seem to disprove the idea that religious fasting is always restricted to a finite period. One can no longer accuse her of doing it merely to look better. She does it as an act of worship to her god.



It seems that she not only participates in an alternative lifestyle, but an alternative religion.



(hint: on the carbs thing, just say that by "essential" you meant "essential to good health" and not "essential to life." Say that you weren't disagreeing with anything the article actually said, but rather how it could be misinterpreted by someone to think that they can stay in top health without carbs.



Of course, it is unlikely that anyone going to a pro-ana site is under the misimpression that they are getting advice on how to stay in the best of health...)


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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

written by faith

I think we are mean to each other because of the competition to have the best whatever.



wink wink wink

both the idea of society as a competition between individuals as opposed to a collective effort, and the drive to have, to possess, to privatise, and to commodify are central theses of capitalism and neo-liberalism respectively.

people who live their life according to these principles are indeed generally very mean to everyone else.

biggrin


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Capitalism and competition for resources seems to be a part of the natural order. I believe it is called "survival of the fittest" and is the primary mechanism of natural selection.

I supposed "nature is red in tooth and claw" means that we are all mean to each other. But without this, how would anything ever evolve?


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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

Capitalism and competition for resources seems to be a part of the natural order



until i see the squirrel stock exchange, the walrus WTO meeting and the wombat's world bank I find the idea that capitalism exists in nature to be wholly fraudulent.

alternatively you could mean that as humans exist as part of nature then capitalism must in some way natural. as therefore must fascism, anarchism, feudalism, despotism and communism. I forget how much you enjoy utterly meaningless statements.

or perhaps you forget that about a hundred and fifty years ago Marx wrote that the values of any ideology have to establish itself as a hegemony it must present itself as part of a natural order. These values are of course nothing to do with nature but merely a manifestation of ideology.

as for your second statement

the conception of a natural order among humans based on a psudeo scientific survival of the fittest based social darwinism was of course a central philosophical position of European fascism in the twentieth century. Its always pleasant to be reminded where people stand.

ubblol


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted: Written by: dream



 Written by:

written by faith



I think we are mean to each other because of the competition to have the best whatever.





wink wink wink



both the idea of society as a competition between individuals as opposed to a collective effort, and the drive to have, to possess, to privatise, and to commodify are central theses of capitalism and neo-liberalism respectively.



people who live their life according to these principles are indeed generally very mean to everyone else.



biggrin





or trying to get the but male of the species to breed with, which is a natural thing. Animals go out of their way to look good for the opposite sex. The better they look the better the chances are that they have good genes. Men are normally the ones who set beauty standards because they are on the recieving end of it.

I am not arguing against ana as being an unhealthy lifestyle, am arguing for some it is a lifestyle and for others it is in illness, most probably an illness.


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: dream



until i see the squirrel stock exchange, the walrus WTO meeting and the wombat's world bank I find the idea that capitalism exists in nature to be wholly fraudulent.



I wasnt aware that one had to participate in those to be capitalist. I had thought that capitalism was an economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership.

When I see squirrels pool their collective nuts, seagulls stop competing for food, spiders stop seeking to advance their personal goals, and dogs stop marking their territory, I will perhaps start to think that no animal besides human is capitalist.

 Written by: dream


the conception of a natural order among humans based on a psudeo scientific survival of the fittest based social darwinism was of course a central philosophical position of European fascism in the twentieth century. Its always pleasant to be reminded where people stand.
ubblol



Actually, youre being reminded of where they stood. European fascism had to compete with other systems, and the fittest survived. Apparently, fascism wasnt very fit.


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:What I was trying to get to in an earlier post, but didn't really manage... hmmm! I'll try it from a different point of view.



Scenario 1:



Americans kids listen to Fox news. They're told that someone wants to kill them. A terrorist. Or worse, a terrorist network. They then post absolute nonsense on an AOL forum, or sign up for the army and fight in Iraq.





Scenario 2:



Women, or girls, see thin models on tv and read fashion mags. They are told that their bodies have to be a certain way. They then post absolutely wrong things on a pro-ana forum, and start starving themselves.





Scenario 1, most people here, and probably at least 90% of the British HoPpers, will go "but HOW can you just believe what the media say, use your head!"



Scenario 2, people seem to say "It's all because of the media, the poor girls get the wrong idea."





Rationally speaking, wouldn't it be far more understandable to be driven to an action that puts your life at risk because you're afraid to be killed, not because you're afraid to be not pretty enough?



Sure, the media tell things, but that can't be it. The majority of people on here won't let that be an excuse for other things... I mean, from previous threads, I remember searching for the problem a bit deeper. Say "war against terror", or "tv and violence".



To me the problem is, why do so many people have a low self confidence? It can't be patriarchate, or media, or even capitalism. Maybe a combination of all, I don't know, but how come a lot of people living in the same society don't have that problem? Are richer or poorer people more likelz to get it? Is it to do with support in the family, or the first years in kindergarten and school? confused



I'd appreciate the hindsight of those of you who have experience with anorexia, or maybe someone with a friend or relative who explained how they came to feel like having to please an image in the first place... But then it's such a personal thing that I can't really ask anyone to post smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Just a quick thought... Anorexia often has little to do with how one looks. Quite often it has much more to do with control, the need to assert control over ones life. Often originates in complex family dynamics, and explodes into behavioural disfunction when the girl hits puberty and is going through many changes she can not control, internal and external. A way of doing it through food, is manageable, and has the perk of often gaining public approval through the result of being thin and disciplined.

If you think of it like that, then the questions may be a bit different-- why does a woman feel she lacks power/control in her life to the extent she is willing to manipulate such a basic neccessity as food/weight/ exercise to get it? When does the need for control actually get out of control? By society dictating emaciation as form of beauty, are women being manipulated/controlled into giving up their personal power? If so, why? Who benefits from this?


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Wow birgit, what an awesome post (and I wasn't meaning to come down on cole and patriarch, i missed an emoticon somewhere, but i was just laughing when i came to the end of it all).

I wonder about the self esteem thing too. On the one hand I used to have a HORRIBLE self esteem. You can still see evidence of it in random things I say or do, even tho its relaly pretty good now, there's just a lot of behavioural patterns i have which are sort of negative. I was told certain things over and over again, tho, so I belived them. A) That I was skinny. B) That I was smart. C)That I was pretty (to some subset of guys).

I still thought i was worthless piece of trash on the face of the earth but i realized that guys found me attractive (for what reason i couldn't guess) that i was clearly skinny enough for people to always accuse me of being anorexic and that i was smart. so i wound up with a lot of self confidence. i was worthless, but i could do (certain things). Which amounted to stuff like aceing tests when i never went to class and sleeping with boys because i could. Weird, weird, weird. And randomly i just belived i could do things (and that i was completly worthless in spite of it and that everyone hated me). So I was in many ways about ten steps ahead of everyone else, but in many others just wasn't there at all. Which makes me not normal (because we did't already know this?) but the self esteem thing is still interesting.

So why did I have no self esteem? I couldn't please people sufficiently. And I can almost watch that over the course of my younger years and see how strange it all got. Maybe there's more to it, but most of it is rejection at one thing and another, one time or another, just, everywhere. I think its common enough. Maybe a lot of people just learn how they're not good enough and can't divorce themselves from someone else's judgement, or when they do its only to set themselves goals which can never be met. This is all just a theory, but its one that i would say meets an aggregate of the population. Now why girls starve themselves and boys are less likely to... well, I'm not sure why that specific thing gets triggered. But someone should do some studies on the pasts of these people and look for some similar patterns, because maybe it would help. Maybe.

I don't think this stayed coherent enough, so..... I will hold off....

But an aside: despite years of being the skinny one, and thus swearing I could never have any eating disorder, I learned I was wrong, (gaining weight being one part of that) altho rather than anorexia I don't think food was even the problem, just a means to the end of control in a messy situation. It seems to be gone now, blessedly.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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icklepurklegirl


icklepurklegirl

member
Location: manchester, uk

Total posts: 116
Posted:Slightly OT...I'm bothered by the idea that 'the media/men causes anorexia in women' aspect apparent in nearly all the posts in this thread. Male anorexia, whilst not as prevalent as female anorexia, often has the same mental triggers as female based eating disorders. These triggers are not always a specific desire to fit into a media based ideal, often relating more to an obsessive control urge than anything else.



I really object to the idea that 'guys want skinny girls which gives girls anorexia' . I was anorexic for most of my teens as a reaction to a trauma...i couldn't control my entire life, but DAMMIT I could control my weight. It had no relation to wanting to be desirable to anyone else.



Slightly more on topic i do feel had I found websites like that at 17 I may not be the healthy girl i am today. But i believe in freedom of speech. I personally think that an '18 plus' button would have done little to deter me entering the site, and I'm finding a contracdiction between my belief in free speech and the knowledge that had I looked at these sites I'd probably be dead.

EDITED_BY: icklepurklegirl (1150279007)


-spinnin' to the rhythm of the new world order-

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

written by patriarch

I had thought that capitalism was an economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership.



you don't appear to understand what capitalism is. may i suggest either reading up about it or refraining from saying such misleading and mistaken things... does that start to sound familiar yet?

capitalism as based on the free market/open competition... no... that would be neo-liberalism or lasseiz-faires capitalism in the 19th century. Quite distinct from other forms of capitalism such as Social Democartic and Keynesian systems which advocated policies such as tariffs and deficit funding.

and please... animals as capitalists... do you honestly believe animals have a form of capital (that means a monetry currency)??? The existence of capital is somewhat vital for the necessary preconditions for capitalism... same as you need racists for racism and god for thesism. If you agree that animals do not possess capital than they cannot be capitalists.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: dream


 Written by:

written by patriarch

I had thought that capitalism was an economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership.



you don't appear to understand what capitalism is. may i suggest either reading up about it or refraining from saying such misleading and mistaken things... does that start to sound familiar yet?



Pretending for a second that I had no idea what capitalism was, my response would certainly be to read up about it. The first place I would probably go to is the dictionary, from whence I drew that quote about what capitalism is.

If you are using the word capitalism to mean something other than what the dictionary says it is, then you have no right to complain that other people dont understand what capitalism is. You are not complaining that I havent read a standard definition of capitalism, youre complaining that I havent read the definition that exists in your mind.

 Written by: dream



and please... animals as capitalists... do you honestly believe animals have a form of capital (that means a monetry currency)??? The existence of capital is somewhat vital for the necessary preconditions for capitalism... same as you need racists for racism and god for thesism. If you agree that animals do not possess capital than they cannot be capitalists.



Here you have been more helpful. You have told me that you are not using the standard dictionary meaning of the word capital. You say that to you it means only a monetry currency.

Of course, anyone using a dictionary definition of capital would understand that capital may consist of wealth other than currency, such as land, structures, or commodities. Since animals possess all three of these, they can certainly be said to possess capital in the way the word is commonly used.

For you to say that you would like us (for the purposes of this discussion) to use the word capital to mean only a monetry currency is like me saying that I would like us to use the word currency only to refer to American dollars.

All American dollars are currency, but not all currency is American dollars. Similarly, while currency is a form of capital, not all capital is currency.

As you can see, it is apparent that you and I do not disagree over the behavior of animals. You have simply given meanings to words other than what is found in the dictionary. Of course, if you decide use the word red to mean what the dictionary calls blue we are bound to end up arguing over what color the sky is before we realize the real problem is with our terminology.

I forgot exactly how this was relevant to the topic, but I believe it started when I endorsed a veiw of society based on darwinism. I withdraw that endorsement. Animal behavior is not an adequate guide to the moral duties of humans.


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:andrealee, icklepurklegirl, I've always been led to believe that anorexia was more of a control issue than a responding to media images issue, but that's based on conversations with ex sufferers. I can't seem to find anything online to back it up though.

It just doesn't make sense to develop the figure of a prepubescent boy if your goal is being attractive to men. Just look at that actress who used to play Ally McBeal. I read a survey where most women responding to it cited her as the example of a figure they'd least like to have.

Maybe a fear of adulthood, and the responsibilities that come with it?


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:completely offtopic for now...



 Written by: Patriarch917



Aww. Cmon. I didnt refuse to accept that the discussion couldnt be about other things, nor did I try to disrupt those discussions.





we have different opinions on that matter.

you repeatedly attempted to restrict the discussion to a logical evaluation of the plagueangel website and replied to other people's comments as if they had placed themselves under the same restrictions as you.

this is disruptive imho.

want an example of you refusing to accept the discussion is about anything other than the writings of the author of plagueangel?



 Written by:



I do not know whether other websites also make a clear distinction between the mental disease and the alternative lifestyle, but if they dont this is hardly her fault.





side topic #2:



 Written by: Patriarch917



 Written by: dream



 Written by:

written by patriarch



I had thought that capitalism was an economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership.





you don't appear to understand what capitalism is. may i suggest either reading up about it or refraining from saying such misleading and mistaken things... does that start to sound familiar yet?





Pretending for a second that I had no idea what capitalism was, my response would certainly be to read up about it. The first place I would probably go to is the dictionary, from whence I drew that quote about what capitalism is.







it seems to me that rather than saying you have no idea about how capitalism works, it would be better to venture that you have a very basic view of it and as such apply it to systems that do not exhibit the defining elements.



the dictionary quite clearly gives a concise and (imho) largely oversimplified definition of capitalism.



these definitions give a better idea of the wide range of concepts that the word 'capitalism' refers to and i think you'll have fun attempting to apply them to your 'animal capitalist society'.



and yet even using your dictionary definition, the idea that animals operate based on capitalistic ideals still doesn't hold - for example, what exactly is an animal free market and where/how does it operate?



can you give us some examples of animal profit motives too please - and before you mention squirrels again, storing nuts has nothing to do with a profit motive wink





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted: Written by:

written by patriarch

Pretending for a second that I had no idea what capitalism was, my response would certainly be to read up about it. The first place I would probably go to is the dictionary, from whence I drew that quote about what capitalism is.




the dictionary. single.

as opposed to a dictionary. one of many, which provides just one of many meanings. The definition you chose is particularly inept as it mentions the free market and open competition which are not ubiquitous formations within capitalist systems, but represent only those formations usually designated as neo-liberal or lasseiz-faire

some dictionary definitions of capitalism

 Written by:

Dictionaries

Oxford English Dictionary: "The condition of possessing capital; the position of a capitalist; a system which favours the existence of capitalists."

Compact Oxford English Dictionary:

* "An economic and political system in which a countrys trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."

Webster's New World College Dictionary 3rd Edition:

* "The economic system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution, as land, factories, railroads, etc., are privately owned and operated for profit, originally under fully competitive conditions: it has been generally characterized by a tendency toward concentration of wealth, and, in its later phase, by the growth of great corporations, increased government control, etc."

Webster Third New International Unabridged Dictionary:

* "An economic system characterized by private or corporation ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly in a free market."

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition:

* "An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market."

Webster Dictionary of the English Language:

* "Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are privately owned and operated for profit."

Riverside Webster's II New College Dictionary:

* "1. An economic system, marked by open competition in a free market, in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporated owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits. 2. A political or social system considered to be based on capitalism."

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:

* "An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market."

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition:

* "An economic and political system characterized by a free market for goods and services and private control of production and consumption."

Random House Dictionary:

* "An economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth."

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary:

* "an economic system based on private, rather than state, ownership of businesses, factories, transport services, etc, with free competition and profit-making."

Newbury House Dictionary:

* "an economic system based on private ownership, competition, and a free market"

Cambridge Dictionary of American English:

* "an economic system based on private ownership of property and business, with the goal of making the greatest possible profits for the owners"

The Wordsmyth Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus:

* "an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned, and prices are chiefly determined by open competition in a free market."

MS Encarta:

* "free-market system: an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit"

The Century Dictionary:

* "1. The state of having capital or property; possession of capital. 2. The concentration or massing of capital in the hands of a few; also, the power or influence of large or combined capital." (1909 edition)

Scott-Foresman Intermediate Dictionary: * "an economic system in which private individuals and groups of individuals own land, factories, and other means of production. They compete with one another, using the hired labor of other persons, to produce good and services for profit."

Random House School Dictionary:

* "an economic system in which land and means of production, as factories, are owned mainly by private individuals or companies rathen than by the government, and there is competition among businesses: The economic system of the U.S. is based on capitalism" (1990)

Wordsmyth Children's Dictionary:

* "an economic system in which land, factories, and other resources are owned by individuals instead of the government. In this system, goods are sold for the purpose of making money."

Allwords.com:

* "an economic system based on private, rather than state, ownership of businesses, factories, transport services, etc, with free competition and profit-making."

Investorwords.com:

* "Economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services."

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences:

* "An economic system in which capital (the goods or wealth used to produce other goods for profit) is privately owned and profit is reinvested so as to accumulate capital. The dynamics of the economic exchange in capitalism are unique. In a barter system of economic activity a producer may grow a pound of potatoes and barter them for an equivalent amount of honey produced by someone else. In this exchange the goods bartered are of roughly equal value. In capitalism, however, a person uses capital to produce goods and then sells those goods for cash. The amount of cash received is greater than the value of the good produced such that a profit is created allowing for reinvestment in the capital stock and to support the owner and producers."

Dictionary of Critical Sociology:

* "A system which separates workers from any property rights in the means by which they produce culture by their labor. The system transforms the social means of subsistence into capital on the one hand and the immediate producers into wage laborers on the other hand. Most of the time, capitalism is defined as the private ownership of the means of production but that definition does not encompass the great harm done to humanity by the system. By claiming all (or most) of the means to produce culture as private property, a small class of owners preempts material culture to their own comfort while denying the vast majority the means to subsistence as well as the means to produce ideological culture when they are not working." (A dictionary written by Robert E. Mazur of the Iowa State University Sociology Department)

Economist.com:

* "The winner, at least for now, of the battle of economic isms. Capitalism is a free-market system built on private ownership, in particular, the idea that owners of CAPITAL have PROPERTY RIGHTS that entitle them to earn a PROFIT as a reward for putting their capital at RISK in some form of economic activity. Opinion (and practice) differs considerably among capitalist countries about what role the state should play in the economy. But everyone agrees that, at the very least, for capitalism to work the state must be strong enough to guarantee property rights. According to Karl MARX, capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction, but so far this has proved a more accurate description of Marxs progeny, COMMUNISM."

Small-business-dictionary.org

* "An economic system of government in which 1) private ownership of property exists; 2) CAPITAL ownership can provide income to the owners; 3) relative freedom of competition for economic gain is permitted; 4) the profit motive is basic to economic life. Also called FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM."

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, ed. Simon Blackburn, 1996:

* "Mode of socio-economic organization in which a class of entrepeneurs and entrepeneurial institutions provide the capital with which businesses produce goods and services and employ workers. In return the capitalist extracts profits from the goods created. Capitalism is frequently seen as the embodiment of the market economy, and hence may result in the optimum distribution of scarce resources, with a resulting improvement for all; this optimism is countered by pointing to the opportunity for exploitation inherent in the system."

Barron's Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms:

* "an economic system in which (1) private ownership of property exists; (2) aggregates of property or capital provide income for the individuals or firms that accumulated it and own it; (3) individuals and firms are relatively free to compete with others for their own economic gain; (4) the profit motive is basic to economic life. Among the synonyms for capitalism are LAISSEZ-FAIRE economy, private enterpreise system, and free-price system. In this context economy is interchangeable with system."




as you can hopefully see these definitions are far from congruent.

 Written by:

If you are using the word capitalism to mean something other than what the dictionary says it is, then you have no right to complain that other people dont understand what capitalism is. You are not complaining that I havent read a standard definition of capitalism, youre complaining that I havent read the definition that exists in your mind.




I believe I've shown fairly clearly that there isn't a 'standard' dictionary definition. If you want to talk about the dictionary which is used as standard for scholarly work, thats the OED. Not the definition you used, which unlike the OED's definition is nonsense as it explicitly refers to free markets and open competition which only constitute certain branches of capitalism. Which was why I complained - not that you hadn't read a standard defintion of capitalism- but that your useage of inept definitions connotes that you fundamentally lack an understanding about the topic of discussion. And so again I find myself repeating what I have already told you. I'm somewhat bored of this now.

what is more, the notion that a two line definition from a dictionary will give you an understanding of a topic as complex and vaired and capitalism is tenuous at best. Maybe things are different where you study, but if I ask a group of students to go and read up on a subject/authour and they came back saying they had read one sentece I would suggest they had not completed the research task they had been set. But then perhaps you believe that there is no need for books as all concepts, no matter how complex can be reduced into a single bite sized chunk.

If not, then perhaps reading Adam Smith's the Wealth of Nations and Marx's Capital, followed by Keynes's The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom and some neo-liberal critiques such as Stiglitz's Golbalization and its Discontents, Klein's No Logo and Chomsky's Profit Over People would be a reasonable set of background references. Certainly it would give you more than enough information to distinguish Keynsian and neo-liberal forms of Capitalism.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:ok ok, let's not get too caught up in what Capitalism is!! what about pro-ana? smile

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:don't you mean "what about plagueangel.org's specific take on pro-ana"? wink


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:i think most of the websites i posted supported the control thing

oh and one more time: why is our media so rotten and yours is beyond reproach


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: faithinfire



i think most of the websites i posted supported the control thing



oh and one more time: why is our media so rotten and yours is beyond reproach





dunno really, maybe because of the people who run it, employ the newsteams and pay the ads placed in it? ubbangel



Can't say though that I've heard anyone here ever saying that, Faith smile

EDITED_BY: Birgit (1150295465)


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:who controls yours and why don't they have some sort of agenda too

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I think if you seriously want to discuss this you should start a new thread, it'll take this one way too far off-topic smile

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:not especially, part of this thread is how media affects the way that people think

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:I suppose if the immigration topic can drift to the definition of marriage, the pro-ana topic can drift to the defintion of capitalism. smile This will probably be my last non PM on the subject though.



You seem not to like the definition of "capitalism" given in the dictionary I used. You quote many dictionaries that give many meanings to the word. If your point is that the word can mean many things, I agree.



You may choose to use one of the definitions that excludes the possibility of animal behavior. I may choose to use a definition that does not. Again, we are not disagree over how animals behave, but rather how to define the word capitalism.



You seem to suggest that I have not read Adam Smith, Marx, Keynes, and others, and that I cannot distinguish Keynsian and neo-liberal forms of Capitalism. You lack any data on what I have read. I merely suggested that you pretend I knew nothing about it, and simply went to a dictionary. I did not say that this was what I did.



I will accept, for the purposes of what you have said in this and other posts, that there isn't a 'standard' dictionary definition. If so, then we cannot argue over whether animal behavior is capitalist, since we cannot know what that word means. Instead, we can merely discuss what we think the word capitalist should mean. This seems a debate better suited to those that want to write a dictionary.





 Written by: coleman



and yet even using your dictionary definition, the idea that animals operate based on capitalistic ideals still doesn't hold - for example, what exactly is an animal free market and where/how does it operate?







I think here we would run into the same problem of having to agree what constitutes a free market. To me, a free market is one in which resources are distributed by the efforts and wishes of individuals free from the control of some other authority. Thus, each cow is free to make his own choices about where he will graze, what he will eat, and how much.



Domesticated animals, on the other hand, may be restricted by their governing authority, and will not be free to use resources in the way they see fit (they may be penned, injected, and have someone else choose what they eat.)



As you can see, my definition of a market participant does not require one to trade with others. This view is probably influenced by a Supreme Court case in America which held that this was the case. My use of the words free market involves the use resources. Someone elses may require the trading of resources. Thus, to me, wild animals are acting in a free market (as opposed to a controlled one).



If you picture it differently, that is fine.



 Written by: coleman



can you give us some examples of animal profit motives too please - and before you mention squirrels again, storing nuts has nothing to do with a profit motive wink



I would disagree. I think the reason squirrels gather and store nuts is because they hope to profit from it. If they were gathering nuts in order to give them away to other squirrels, I would see it as an altruistic motive. However, I was of the opinion that squirrels gathered nuts for themselves (and perhaps their families). They intend to reap the benefits of their labor. In other words, their motivation to gather nuts is a desire to profit from it.



If I am mistaken, and squirrels are not acting out of a desire to profit from their labor, I am sure that another animal could be found that is acting from a profit motive.



Perhaps you use the word profit to mean something else. That is fine. Now you understand what I mean.



If we wish to discuss this further, we should move it to PM so that we will not lead this thread further off topic.


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:this is so offtopic its ridiculous rolleyes



wayne, your carefully picked definition of 'free market' dictates that animal capitalism would be completely devoid of trade.



how is there economic profit without trade?



i suppose you're using an overly wide definition of profit that just so happens to support your ideas too...?



profit in its widest context just refers to a benefit or an advantage reaped.



however, in an economic context (which is the context that applies to the word when considering capitalism), it has a very specific definition which, if you are as educated in this area as you imply, you should understand implicitly.



shrug



carefully picking definitions that support your argument and choosing simply to ignore those that don't (rather than showing them to be incorrect) will never produce a convincing argument imo.



to my sensibilities, the test of a strong argument is that it stands up to scrutiny.



imho, your animal capitalism theory doesn't even stand by itself, let alone under scrutiny.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:sorry, more offtopicness!

 Written by: faithinfire


not especially, part of this thread is how media affects the way that people think



rolleyes

sure, if you want to discuss the aspect of the media that has to do with anorexia, that has been and should be done in this thread.

But I can't see anorexia being about the AMERICAN media and their difference to any other media in the world (or, more specifically, your frustration with people thinking they're bad and "theirs" (whoever "they" are) are good). If you're seriously interested in a debate about this, I think it would be a very interesting one, but none that contributes to this thread at all.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Fireblitz
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

Fireblitz

member
Location: Dublin

Total posts: 186
Posted:Ok, I feel alot of Patriarch's comments may be flying over my head ubbloco but quite frankly I think he's gone sooooo far up his own arse that most of us are unable or unwilling to follow, what has squirrels got to do with anarexia and so on, and by the way if a squirrel storing nuts for winter is not altruistic but profitmaking then is a human having a burger, or salad, profit making or is it only profit making if s/he keeps it in a fridge? Oh and Patriarch if you're studying law should you not be spending more time studying? and this is annoying me too "I make my own people", I think you may be suffering from a Messiah complex, can anyone else smell arrogance? sniff, sniff yes I think that's arrogance I'm smelling. tongue

You can only be young once but you can always be immature.

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:internet=media

Does Am media do more damage to women's sense of self than others?



No, see what Pat is doing is being a lawyer, and the tactics lawyers use are often so annoying that everyone has decided they hate lawyers biggrin

Also, perhaps he is studying with us. The best way to study is to practice and he is doing just that. Just as some see the media debate as off topic, some see the economic structure debate. It has to do with freedom of expression, open markets, economy and media and government all play a role in website such as this existing. The role may be neglible but do not fool yourself that they are independent and have no bearing.

ubbangel

EDITED_BY: faithinfire (1150308147)


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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