- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Behaviorist socialism?

Posted by: bill on November 17, 1999 at 17:23:26:

In Reply to: Exclusive relationships and social division. posted by Marcos on November 17, 1999 at 10:17:06:

: I wish now to discuss the reason for that rejection of exclusive love ties between family and pairs, for I believe it is potentially the root of inegalitarian privilege seeking - in short; a crack in our socialist future.

: It is understood that economic equality is paramount and that social ownership of the means of production, democratic process and job rotation are the cornerstones. But - even in so fine a socialist brotherhood there may lie the festering poison of privilege, where one person favors another emotionally they may attempt to favor them economically - what checks do we have against this? Where do we as a society recognise that those bestowed with emotional devotion may also be bestowed with privileges!

: It is vital, I am sure Barry knows, that the raising of children be engaged as a social process. Parents who wish to see their offspring gain more than others are not acting in the interest of a socialist society. Put bluntly comrades - a parent who seeks to have their offspring gain privilege over others is against the revolution! The fabric of socially owned facilities must be tied strongly so that groups of people do not win for themselves greater access than is their due under the maxim 'from each according to their ability to each according to their need'. Ideally a parent would think of the needs of a strangers child as they would their own. Indeed a parent can have no more say in the raising of their child than can the society a whole - to do so is to be in a position of privilege, to do so is to deny others.

: In pair bonding the same threat exists - either partner cannot hold a greater sway over, nor grant a greater economic benefit to the other without assuming the mantle of privilege. How do we check against this in socialism? This, Barry, was why I appealed to a youth to ceaselessly serve the revolution - to remain at all times alert to creeping social division - however innocent may seem its source!


First of all, I don't think human beings are infinately malleable. (There are a lot of ex-Catholics around). Is there any historical or anthropological precident? Appeals to "economic necessity" fail when dealing with Huner-Gatherer cultures which require as little as 3 hours work a day for sustainance.

Then there is the matter of 'creeping privilege'. These are concerns about those objective expressions of values (Me First) that are integral to the Capitalist System. They are rarely to be found in a number of H&G cultures.

We are concerned about inequality precisely because it upsets us Emotionally to witness suffering. (and this trait is a biological given - though it may be, and has been, subverted)

I consider radical democracy the most important project - because I am convinced that through this empowering process, socialism will be freely chosen as the most humane (as well as rational) system of collective governance and collective ownership of the means of production. And the values engendered through the process will obviate manipulative programming to ensure what has already taken place.

And why this pre-occupation with such programming - including job rotation - if it were not to imply some hidden "intrinsic" mystical desire to lord it over others. Sounds Hegelian to me!

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