- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Hacking away...

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on December 01, 1999 at 10:26:00:

In Reply to: Let's cut to the chase posted by Stoller on November 30, 1999 at 16:15:49:

: The Soviets did WHATEVER they could do to insure that their government survived in their weak, early years.

: If you wish to deny them the 'right' to do so, then may I presume you ALSO deny, say, the Reagan-led USA the same 'right' in their bloody actions that protected their 'self-interests'?

: Or do you propose force and expedience for YOUR INTERESTS and peace and scruples for everyone else's?

DC: Fair enough. It's all about power, then. All this talk about 'rights' and 'justice' is so much window-dressing.

Except that the living standards in those nations that have made the transition into the First World, a transition that invariably entailed the establishment of an advanced, complicated system of capitalism and private ownership, are exceptionally high. Marxist revolutionary movements commonly start amongst the 'have-not' nations, wherein reside large numbers of poor, disgruntled agricultural workers. Indeed, to use the Hegelian dialectic, one could say that communism is the synthesis of the thesis of aristocratic serfdom with secular industrial rationalism. The common lure for the foot soldiers of the Party are the very real possibility of land ownership, come a successful overthrow of the previous order. In so far as that promise is fulfilled, these movements are popular. Once the available loot is distributed, however, there is little left within the presumed paradigm to instill loyalty. Thus, the subsequent necessity for terror, and the inevitable return to a managed feudal arrangement.

In capitalism, a different dynamic operates. Through industrialization, and the necessity to maintain profitability of businesses that functionally must concern themselves with the interests of consumers, an inevitable interest in the society at large develops. McDonald's is a prime example. Through the actions of the McSpotlight group, the image of McDonald's is tarnished. This loss of public approval measurably results in lowered profits, forcing a response by the corporate leadership. Thus, in the name of profit, they turn to legal action (perhaps a SLAPP suit, to make the enterprize of harrassment unprofitable to the perpetrators), public relations gimmicks (advertizing, the Ronald McDonald houses, etc.), or whatever else might serve to diminish the cut in profitability that said movement may "cost".

And so forth.

Now that you have aascertained my particular slant on what one might call politics, consider my reaction. If we presume that all this effort is in the name of power, and the pursuit of same, what is the smart consumer of state services and economic systems to do? Can you see why many of those constituent elements of the so-called "masses" seek to play the various factions against each other, hoping to arrive at the best deal without allowing any group too much influence? Perhaps might this be one of the reasons these conflicts take so long to resolve?

Before those of conscience are to make any headway against the injustices of the world, they had best discard the ideological baggage that has kept things as they are for so long. Part of that "baggage" is this knee-jerk reaction against anything American or market oriented. Microbanking in India has been far more useful than anything the Marxists have ever done there; were the energies of activists channeled in such applications to theory, rather than toward the advocation of violent revolution in the name of dubious and byzantine ideological nonsense, one might find that their influence in other matters might rise. Just a thought.

Dr. "Pumpkin Seeds" Cruel

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