- Capitalism and Alternatives -

deconstructing a slogan

Posted by: bill on December 08, 1999 at 11:09:09:

In Reply to: might makes right posted by Gee on December 07, 1999 at 18:27:53:

: : What's a rule if not everyone follows it? A discussion-topic for lunch-hour! The point is that Russia celebrates openly the rule that the rest of the world's elite only celebrates at WTO meetings: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT.

: And of democracy? Majority makes right is the same. the princople 'might makes right' is presumably agreed with by pluralist democratic majoritarians and nasty 'big business' alike.

No, not alike. The WTO is an example - even within its ranks.

"Tetteh Hormeku of the Africa Trade Network, a coalition of NGO's, said that the negotiations have been taken out of the official meeting rooms and moved behind closed doors....The powerful countries, especially the United States, the European Union, and Canada, have taken negotiations into the corridors." [World Trade Observer 12/3]

In a further statement the WTO was acused of being: "Undemocratic - both between people and their governments, and among the governments of the world. For example, without consulting and over the objections of civil society and EU member states,[my emphasis] the European Commission announced its support for a Biotechnology Working Party, causing 15 EU trade ministers to issue a joint statement of disagreement."

The reason why the Undeveloped Nations walked out of the WTO summet was because a small number of "developed" nations retired to the "Green Room" to work out Agricultural protocals in their absense.

: If might does not make right - then what does ?(and no, this isnt to suggest that I think it does - its a way of posing that difficult question)

"Right" is a determination of a society. "Might" is the enforcement mechanism. It may be subtle or crude. From the threat of starvation to the policeman's club.

If you know of a system that could objectively provide MORE justice (defined by consensus) and empowerment of a citizenry than democracy, please describe it.

: Subjecting property to democratic vote does not dispel the 'might makes right' demon by any stretch of the imagination. Its borderline utopian to suggest it would.

Just as it is borderline utopian to suggest that capitalist acquisition of property does not entail "Might Makes Right". (remember the coercion of hunger)

: : SDF: The movement of the labor power of the working classes is, and will never be, free, until the working classes own the means of production democratically.

: The 'working classes' not being an homogenous blob will not feel 'free' as individuals under that condition either. One vote in a million may seem better than none, but as a marginal gain its not much to ignite the passions of the people.

Any example you can provide (and I wish you would provide one) is subject to rational discourse that would include compensation for apparant injustice. I have no idea how far you intend to push this idea of personal freedom. I might feel that I am being stifled in my freedom to piss in the streets or burn PCB's in my back yard. Who decides the rules - the individual or a majority of peers. If you don't like "the greatest good for the greatest number" provide a better slogan.

Incidently, SDF made mention of the abolition of money.

Prior to the introduction of money, (ie barter) can you describe a transaction involving profit?

Kinda needs that surplus labor - don't it?

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