- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Maybe they are

Posted by: Stoller on November 11, 1999 at 16:21:09:

In Reply to: The self-employed plumber is not your enemy, Barry posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on November 11, 1999 at 11:41:18:

: Well, Barry, I can see that the WAY to get my POINT ACROSS is evidently to USE LOTS and LOTS of CAPITAL LETTERS.....(j/k)

It's tempting to disregard any post that starts out flaming like this...

But the SUBJECT MATTER is important---and there are other people reading...

Barry, I haven't read much Marx, but...

This will become more evident as the debate progresses...

You haven't answered my question. You claim that to be a socialist one must follow your model, but it goes much further than the leading communist party in the world today ever has. Are you denying that the CPIM is communist?If so, I'd say that's pretty silly. I mean, they have popular support numbering in the millions...

Nonetheless, if their Communist Party permits exemptions and exceptions to occur a bureaucracy WILL form---eventually.

The bloody Stalinists had 'millions,' too...

The idea is job rotation.

No, not exactly. Marx didn't say that the factory worker be REQUIRED to do any of these things. Even if some measure of job rotation was required, Marx certainly wasn't saying that the worker do all these things one day, then teh next day he do another bunch of three-hour shifts inb entirely different jobs, et cetera....

Please see Engels' famous architect / porter paradigm, second paragraph from the end of chapter 7 in Anti-Dühring. Which, BTW, was written very late in his life.

Job rotation IS a definite feature of Marxism.

But in your world, would a man who, let's say, wants to be a farmer, knwos lots about farming, loves the life of a small farmer, going to be required to spend only 1 day a month on teh farm> Will eh ahve to work at jobs he doesn't liek for teh other 29 days? that doesn't sound like a happy life to me, Barry.

Replace 'farmer' with 'senator' and say that again.

If there were 'some professions' exempt, then hierarchy, privilege, and abuse of power would occur afresh. If someone ONLY does the science, then it follows that somebody else must take up the slack in dish-washing, sewer-work, farming, etc. I don't plan to be that person in YOUR socialist utopia, Nikhil...

: Ah yes, ad hominems, the all-purpose tool for winning an argument....Barry, if I was opposed to dishwashing I wouldn't have volunteered to wash dishes at a homeless shelter. If I was opposed to toilet work, i wouldn't have gotten a part-time job last year cleaning toilets. if I thought I was too good for carpentry wok, I wouldn't ahve volunteered to work for Habitat for Humanity 30 hourrs a week.

But YOU are deciding your level of service, Nikhil---NOT SOCIETY AS A WHOLE.

I am in favor of requiring something like 1 day each week of volunteer labor from everyone. (Scientist and writers included).

Shouldn't those determinations be left to SOCIETY AS A WHOLE?

Funny how YOUR socialist utopia has certain exemptions for those TWO 'occupations.'

: Goive me a break, Barry! Your cheap ad hominems are making me laugh? YI'm sure you ahve better grounds for disagreeing with me tahn this. As a matter of fact,if you read my post again, you woudl see, I talked about "peasant farmers, hermits, small self-employed people, small farmers and others who do not employ/exploit others...." Example: if a plumber works for himself, and doesn't hire anyone else, and is not in turn hired by a boss, then I think he should be left alone, because I don't see that he's exploiting anyone. And if you added up all the plumbers, hot dog salesmen, small farmers, carpenters, mechanics, and all the other SELF EMPLOYED people who DO NOT EMPLOY OTHERS, then that wouldn't make a fucking dent in the American property system.

I think I went over that before. In our economy, there is ALWAYS an employee. Distribution, Nikhil...

The 'self-employed' is also a statistical minority. No more than 10% in America (Business Week, 28 November 1994, p. 34).

Those guys are not your enemy, Barry.

Well... history has shown that the petty proprietor has been (as C. Wright Mills put it) able SHOCK TROOPS in the battle against labor. Think about the peasant's response to the Russian Revolution. Think about American small businesses opposition to health benefits.

Property owners---whatever the size of their concern---will always be uncertain comrades.

When you read more Marx you will see that his ENTIRE SYSTEM is based upon LANDLESS workers who have NOTHING TO LOSE but their chains (labor-power expropriated by the capitalists).

I'm sorry, but---again---I assert your communism is a petit-bourgeois one.

... I just wasted an entire post for nothing. So it goes...

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