The epitomy of capatalism?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by 2nd man down, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    We had a debate spring up (out of nowhere it has to be said) last night about the origins and morals of places such as Subway (you know, the sarnie place)?
    So, what do you think? Are they innocent but overly priced high street snack foods, or are they (in the rather frought and downtrodden tones of The Cornet King) the epitomy of Capitalism??
  2. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    A good question, and very relavent. Some socio-political thinkers have already had a look at it, although not subway specifically. Have a look at George Ritzer's work on the "...Mcdonaldization of society." It makes interesting (if complicated) reading. The main thrust of his argument being:

    "...McDonaldization, the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world." (Ritzer, 1993)

    Does society shape these institutions or do they shape society?

    PS - Sounds exactly like the sort of thing Cornet King WOULD say! ;)
  3. Griffin

    Griffin Active Member

    I think Subway got really popular cos the guy who runs it lost about 100 stone (or something like that), and I think that it was supposed to be a healthy alternative to Maccy D's...
  4. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Since capitalism is a system whereby organisations sell goods or services at whatever rate their customers are willing to pay (the 'free market'), then Subway is definitely capitalist. Just like Tesco, or the local corner shop....

    You pays your money, you makes your choice.
  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Blimey, he must have looked like the side of a doubledecker bus ;)

    If people are willing to pay over-inflated prices for a funny-shaped butty, then good luck to them I say. :clap: I've never eaten at Subway, but I would prefer them to some of the other fast food alternatives that are available on the high street.

    I don't see this issue as being in terms of being "capitalist, or innocent" as per 2md's post. Since when has capitalism been a crime? :confused:

    I was reading a book earlier this week which described capitalism as the unequal distribution of wealth, and communism as the equal distribution of poverty. I think there is a great deal of truth in that definition, and I know which of the two I would prefer!
  6. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    All I can say is that I've only ever once visited a 'Subway' joint and what I ate of what I ordered tasted like it had been probably been left in a subway for a while.
  7. Pookiyama

    Pookiyama Member

    Capitalism is the spawn of the devil, but it has to be said, although Subway is a generically capitalist firm, its food is actually quite healthy in comparison, and Pret รก Manger (its only true rival in tersm of sandwiches) is part of the McDonald's chain so I don't eat there.
  8. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Without appearing to be too much of a socialist on this one, Subway is the epitomy of modern day Capitalist Greed. They're a large franchise intent on putting smaller establishments out of business. In Hull, they put a Subway right next to 2 established and very small sandwich shops...needless to say they got none of my well earned cash, as not only were the other shops considerably cheaper they also made bigger and far better sandwiches. :biggrin:

    I've nothing against Capitalism as an ideology, if i did i'd emigrate to China, Russia or some other Baltic State, what i am adverse to is large franchises who's sole intention is to put smaller establishments out of business...yes its survival of the strongest etc etc, dog eat dog in the business world but i shall uphold my views!

    On Andi's theme of Mcdonaldization of society, since the 60's Europe underwent the 'Americanisation' and i still think that exists today. The United nations died (yes it still exists but in name only) when the USA decided to act independantly of the organisation and unfortunately with the emergence of the superpowers we are more and more under the influence of clowns like George W whose economic and military power and sanctions is enough to undermine anybody they see as against the American way.

    Anyway i shall return to my reading of Das Kapital! ;)
  9. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    subways nice! Better than McDonalds someone said that you might as well inject yourself with pure fat rather than go there.
  10. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Since Capitalists and leaders of the 'Capitalist free world' decided they would take matters and other societies way of living into there own hands and attempt to force smaller states to adhere to there way of living and to their belief that Capitalism is the supreme ideology.

    Who are we to say that Capitalism is the right ideology to exist under? Unfortunately Capitalism goes so well with human nature, the constant need and wish for 'more', whether that be financially or otherwise that it shall remain the dominant power in the world for years to come.

    And here's one for you...America has always adhered to an isolationaist and non-colonialist policy, surely today and since post 1945 when America took over from Britain as the 'world's policeman' the Policy of the US has always been that of a colonialist power to such an extent that Mr Blair seems to have turned Britain from full circle so that we are the colony.

    At least Marx was on to something, and i really wish History could have blessed us with a truly Marxist state (as opposed to Leninism and Maoism) to see just how his theory could have been put into practice.
  11. Di

    Di Active Member

    Sounds like you ordered the same as me then. :rolleyes: Ditto on the only ever having visited one once. I was in London, on my lonesome the 7 hours to kill. :frown: I found myself wiling away an hour in a subway internet cafe, you guessed it, surfing on tMP. Must say, the company was much nicer than the food. :biggrin:;)
  12. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I only like one subway sandwich! :cry:
  13. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    What, one at a time Ben??? :eek: ;)
  14. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    What bugged me recently was Ronald McDonald turning up at my daughters school to talk about road safety, yeah right just another marketing to young children ploy. I don't have a problem with road safety education (and they do need that especially over here!) but with Ronald McDonald? :rolleyes:
  15. dyl

    dyl Active Member


    I think it may be closer to the 'something like that' than it is to '100 stone'

  16. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Sorry, but it appears that (like many before you) you are confusing capitalism with globalisation. Capitalism is 'free market' - best goods @ best price wins; globalisation offsets local losses using global profit to drive the local competition out (a vast simplification, actually, but in the right ball park...)

    Nowt wrong with capitalism: without it, there'd be no corner shops, independant newsagents, local music shop :eek: ...

    Globalisation? Depends on the ethics of the organisation involved.

    Derek (B.A. Hons, Business Studies :oops:)
  17. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Heavens to murgatroyd this is all a bit heavy for Saturday morning! Have I accidentally logged onto The Socialist Worker web forum? Oh well here goes...
    Capitalism is fundamental to human nature and as such is just a fact of life. Any ideology carried to extremes becomes evil. What appears to be the problem is the cloning of services so that every city in all the world must have its Subway/MacD/GAP etc. Under the guise of giving choice to the people of the world these chains actually deny choice to millions.
    Make a stand. Buy a bacon butty and a panda pop from the little man in a layby, not a parma ham and cheddar pannini with a pepsi.
  18. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    But surely Globalisation is the internationalisation of Capitalism. Gloabalisation is the international expansion of a Capitalist market; when a company expands internationally it still operates under a Capitalist framework.
    Capitalism and democracy go hand in hand, capitalism being the freedom of investment/business and expansion, the freedom of a consumer to choose under a democratic and 'free society'. Traditionally, non democratic societies have also been non capitalist, with a few very small exceptions. Thus surely by a country attempting to enforce democracy upon a state it is also bringing with it globalisation and thus capitalism.

    So it has been in history yes, but not all 'evil' extremes are detrimental to society, for example the industrialisation of Soviet Russia in the 1930s. Like i've said earlier i wish we could have been blessed with a truly Marxist state which in theory is the extreme left of the spectrum but far from an evil society.

    Blimey it is a bit heavy going for a sturday morning all this, think i'll go back to bed!
  19. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    OK so far...

    What? No far-right dictatorships? No capitalism under the Nazis in Germany, the military juntas in South America, the 'generals' in Greece, the Saud family? In fact, most of Europe up to about 2-300 years ago (or even less, if 'democracy'='votes for all').

    Apart from the ethics of enforcing anything on a separate, sovereign state, I'd say that in a new democracy, capitalism (i.e. free trade) may be encouraged, and this may in turn encourage the global market players to move in on a new market. (Also, your comment could be read as "Bush invaded Iraq to sell more 'Subways'" ;))

    A social revolution that included the collectivisation of farming, leading to a downturn in food production and eventual famine, and the many 'slave' labourers who died building hydro-electric dams using pick and shovel?

    Anyway... Globalisation is capitalism, but in the context of a local (i.e. national) market it is frequently detrimental to free trade, since it allows cross-subsidy from other markets to (possibly) undercut local producers. This may not be too bad in a mature market - the west, G8, call it what you will - but can have devastating effects in developing markets such as the third world.

    So, as BMB said, capitalism is human nature, but globalisation is the frequently uncompetitive extreme.
  20. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Its sunday morning and my brain isn't in gear...we'll continue this tomorrow! :p

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