- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Chuck ( Virginia ) on December 10, 1999 at 15:05:23:

In Reply to: Hold the malarkey and pass the mayo. posted by MDG on December 09, 1999 at 16:17:03:

MGD: Any ruler who rules in the name of justice and freedom, but who oppresses people, is a scoundrel, regardless of the political label they wear (or you slap on them).

Chuck: I saw that on a BMW bumper the other day.

MGD: When you find common ground with someone, you ought to work to achieve it.

Chuck: Common ground with people who advocate "some inequality"? You can count this wage-slave out. I'm tired of liberals and their bourgeois political fads.

MGD: I guess you're talking about me with that "some inequality" remark. When did I ever advocate that?

Chuck: How about in your next paragraph?

MGD: Anyway, I've got news for you: as Lark pointed out in another post, you'll never get rid of all inequality. You'll never have perfection. From one wage slave to another, you'd better face the facts that human existence will be wrought with inequality and brutality and all those other things people deplore. The best we can do is minimize, as much as possible, the bad.

Chuck: I'm talking about the abolition of social classes. Marx and Lenin were very clear about 'inequality' and how it will remain for some time as a defect AFTER CAPITALISM IS OVERTHROWN (i.e. the first stage of communism). Consider Marx in the "Critique of the Gotha Programme":

But one man is superior to another physically or mentally
and so supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor
for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must
be defined by its duration and intensity, otherwise it
ceases to be a standard of measurement. This EQUAL
right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recog-
nises no class differences, because everyone is a
worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognises
unequal individual endowment and thus productive
capacity as natural priveleges .... with an equal
output, and hence an equal share in the social con-
sumption fund, one will in fact receive more than
another, one will be richer than another, and so
on. To avoid these defects, right, instead of being
equal, would have to be unequal. (International
Publishers, p.8, 1986)

Or consider Lenin in "State and Revolution":

... the mere conversion of the means of production
into the common property of the whole of society
("Socialism" in the generally accepted sense of the
word) DOES NOT REMOVE the defects of distribution
and inequality of "bourgeois right" which CONTINUE
TO RULE as long as the products are divided "accor-
ding to work performed." .... We cannot imagine that,
having overthrown capitalism, people will at once
learn to work for society WITHOUT ANY STANDARD OF
RIGHT; indeed, the abolition of capitalism DOES NOT
IMMEDIATELY LAY the economic foundations for SUCH a
change. (International Publishers, pp.77-8, 1985)

So your suggestion that Marxists are utopians when it comes to inequality has no merit.

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