- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on November 19, 1999 at 10:24:28:

In Reply to: well... posted by bill on November 18, 1999 at 18:00:39:

: bill:
: Too simplistic. Everybody wants a "BETTER" anything. You have to show whyproduction lines of inequality should be halted. Are you going to appeal to "efficiency"?

SDF: Society will be better for all in terms of the real security that will be provided for all, and the satisfaction in human relationships all will experience under socialism (not to mention the increases in material prosperity that will be made available for the first time to most of humanity), when capitalist competition is no longer the driving force of their lives.

: This "capitalism creates its own gravediggers" notion, though, appears to me to be completely unproven.

: bill:
: No. In the sense that "class war" and dialectics is not completely proven.

SDF: Let me be more clear about this, and perhaps hedge on it and rewrite it a bit. It is clear that capitalism will provide the means of its own undoing -- this will occur, however, not through any inherent tendency of capitalism to create socialists as proclaimed by cheerleaders of the "coming revolution" (which I hoped unsuccessfully to discuss HERE), but rather through the tragedy of the commons, that capitalist competition practically requires social destruction of the resource base, toward the chronic creation of crises of overproduction, in the name of capitalist competition.

I have always asserted that capitalism will have an endpoint somewhen down the line, but that it is difficult to see from here what will replace it, and that it is not clear that there will be any socialists at all to see the last days of the global capitalist system. The whole thing could just collapse of its own accord, and be replaced by feudalism once more, fascism perhaps, or maybe just chaos. Capitalism may die and there might be nobody around to dig its grave.

We can always hope otherwise -- but retreat into fantasies isn't an appropriate use of utopianism.

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