- Capitalism and Alternatives -

We need this stuff out in the open

Posted by: Stoller on December 13, 1999 at 13:29:43:

In Reply to: Please, guys, it breaks my heart to see socialists arguing. posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 12, 1999 at 17:24:04:

First, let us recall that Lark said in this post:

[I]f I had to, and I would, engage in an armed struggle against a Strollerist regime I'd probably be fighting alongside the likes of Dr. Cruel etc.

Now, THAT'S my idea of fair-weather socialism.

: Please, guys, it breaks my heart to see socialists arguing. I think tehre's too much mudslining going on here.

Actually, Nikhil, there's not ENOUGH arguing going on here.

We need to REALLY get issues out in the open NOW so we can glimpse what sort of differences might emerge AFTER the revolution.

We can all hold hands now, ignoring or minimizing our differences, but EVENTUALLY these differences will come out.

I, for one, want to know who I can count on then---and I want to know NOW---before I risk my neck.

We need to know MORE than that we share opposition to the CURRENT order.

We need to know WHAT it is we're fighting FOR in the future.

You wouldn't want to risk YOUR neck fighting with me only to LATER discover that I was fighting for things you reject, would you?

Why expect the same of me?

As far as your issues go, we've hashed over most of them before (with the thread that begins here).

The only point I think would be worthwhile to explore again is this one:

Lark has taken a stand AGAINST what he calls 'absolute' equality, arguing instead for the Rawlsian conception of justice in which 'the distribution of wealth and income need not be equal.'

: You pulled that out of context. Rawls advocates whatever society maximizes the standard of living of teh most destitute.

Which INCLUDES raising the standards of the better off---as long as the increase in living standards OCCUR TOGETHER.

Rawls accepts that living standards may start off UNEQUAL.

Rawls EXPLICITLY accepts income differences---in principle (p. 61).

Most of Rawls' intricate (and, at times, dull) presentation argues FOR the idea that whatever benefits ALL is justice---even if there are inequalities in the first place. This idea is popularly known as the 'whatever raises all boats' theory---which is merely 'trickledown' with a 'human face.'

Doc will tell us how capitalism raises all boats till he's blue in the face---and you certainly won't trust him.

Why should I trust a liberal saying the same thing? Because the inequality 'won't be as bad'?

Sorry, I'm not going to risk MY neck for something like that.

If YOU want to, be my guest.


Rawls dismisses any socialism that refutes market relations (pp. 280-81), which we know (since the late 1980s and on) only leads back to capitalism. Market socialism is a chimera because as long as LABOR is a commodity, there will be alienation. AND ever-increasing inequalities.

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