- Capitalism and Alternatives -

realistic limitations

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on November 30, 1999 at 14:32:45:

In Reply to: Democratic control of business posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on November 30, 1999 at 10:30:58:

: SDF: If everyone has a stake in every business, the experience of working can be changed by VOTE. Sure, there are realistic limitations to how this can be done, but socialist business can be surprisingly flexible and still keep the trains running on time.

I appreciate what you are saying SDF and I even accept that it may represent some improvement in terms with how a worker might relate to his work - but I think its marginal at best. Those realistic limitations you mention have never been defined. I think they would lead a worker to feel pretty much as he did under a capitalist boss, except maybe he can vote on sundays about some issues with a million other voters. I don't think that inspires people to change (perceived effort of changing is greater than perceioved benefit) hence my comment that you would be right about ICs showing by example to encourage others.

: When the holders of democratic power are the consumers and producers, and not merely a small owning class, then what controls you is the EMPATHETIC relation you have to the millions of other democratic controllers of business, such relation and such control as you have over them as well, since you're all workers as well as owners.

Again its a sound model and a reasonable assumption (that people empathise with eachother when voting because they see themselves in others) but such is the anonymity of voting that one may see the 'prisoners dilemma' played out on a vast scale.

: shall people "give up on" the possibility of further agreement about the means of their mutual substistence, and trust in MONEY and ONLY MONEY money) to mediate between them, or can the matter of the RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE be decided democratically. Is dependence to be replaced by interdependence, that is the question at hand.

I think the answer at present is that people are already pursuing agreements to an extent among their specific associations, but to ask them to do so in every field with every person is going beyond the range at which they, demonstrably, are willing to do so (when viewing western culture at least, and probably any large population).

: "Getting rid of the State" is a fine goal, but it is only a fantasy unless the real relations of people, to each other, can be changed to end the domination of money over people. For it is in money that the present-day global dictatorship consists of.

I accepted the fantasy status of both stateless capitalism and stateless socialism some time as either depends upon an overwhelming majority agreeing to the unenforcable rules. For instance 'honor' and benevolence in the first and a willingness to work harder without extra reward, aswell as the 'honor' not to shirk in the latter are but a few examples of what would be required to bring either situation to successful reality.

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