- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Arrant nonsense!

Posted by: Ed Toner ( none, USA ) on December 11, 1999 at 21:13:12:

In Reply to: Socialist Incentive posted by Barry Stoller on December 10, 1999 at 20:44:11:

: Of all the myths spread about socialism by procapitalist ideologues, few are as enduring as the myth that socialism, if prevalent, would reduce individual incentive.

: While some procapitalist ideologues readily admit that 'menial'

(unskilled) work is primarily accomplished through the fear of punitive sanctions (such as unemployment, i.e. hunger and homelessness), most procapitalist ideologues insist that only the 'profit motive' will sustain the innovation, risk-taking, dedication, and so on, associated with 'mental' (skilled) work.

: ** See Ferster and Skinner Schedules of Reinforcement, Appleton-Century-Crofts 1957. Although psychologist Barry Schwartz has claimed that reinforcement schedules are another form of Taylorism (Battle for Human Nature, Norton 1987, pp. 232-33), the fact that capitalists do not support behaviorological studies nor apply behaviorological principles in work places strongly suggests otherwise. Indeed, the POSITIVE aspects of behaviorology contradicts capital's internal logic to pay workers as little as possible (Skinner, Science and Human Nature, Macmillan 1953, p. 388)---which may explain the massive university defunding for behaviorological departments since the neoliberal 1980s. Indeed, so incompatible with capitalism is behaviorology (specifically, positive reinforcement) philosopher Jerome Ulman, speaking at a philosophy conference in Cuba, called for a 'grand synthesis of the thinking of Marx and Skinner' ('Toward a Synthesis of Marx and Skinner,' Behavior and Social Issues, 1: 1, Spring / Summer 1990, p. 67).

Work is it's own reward? Arrant nonsense! Pay is the reward.

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