- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Hey, man you looking for answers, hows these cheeseburgers?!...

Posted by: Lark on December 14, 1999 at 14:53:21:

In Reply to: Yes, that's what I asked you. posted by Chuck on December 14, 1999 at 10:35:53:

: Chuck: I'll pass - I prefer not to read books by people who pull Trotsky's quotes out of context.

That's a shame, you should open your mind and shed your literary loyalties, theres a whole world and the good life to engage in friend.

:Why don't you give me a little five minute shake-n-bake: What's Crick's point regarding politics and 'freedom'?

Shake-n-bake?! You guys have shake and bake?! Kick ass, I mean I thought the quirky packaging might have meant that it was an american product but I wasnt so sure, seeing how americanism is being exported left, right and centre (literally left, right and centre when you consider all that third way trash!), do you like it though? I like the ones that make little choclate cakes, damn it they are fine.

Crick's point? Well that'd be hard to sum up in a sentence, basically politics is a mark of the good life and everyone should have a go, liberals and some marxists hate politics but they dont understand it, you really should check out his books they are interesting and not to heavy, unfortunately they arent wired so you can't get them on the net.

'Defence of Politics' also has a great chapter called 'A footnote for fellow socialists' which gives a good account of democratic socialism, you might think it liberal btu then some people prefer chips to cheeseburgers.

: Lark: Doesnt everyone know themselves what it is to be free?

: Chuck: My boss would answer that with a big YES!

I'd say he would but wouldn't you hit him with the butt of a rifle given the chance? I know I would if there was a syndicalist putsch.

The individual is the mighty root of the tree that is society change those and opponents will find it hard, short of holocaust, to reverse that change, not like a state or a party or speaking generally of classes etc.

: Chuck: Don't YOU know that 'freedom' in general is a bourgeois selling point? Or do you still think SOCIAL CLASSES ARE IMAGINARY?

: Lark: What do you mean by freedom in general?

: Chuck: That's what I am asking YOU!

Right, I wasnt sure of that, I mean do you mean liberty? Positive or negative liberty? Etc. I do believe in freedom in general because I wouldn't be so blaise to underestimate the amount of annoyance things like freedom of speech and expression are to the likes of McDonalds and every capitalist individual about.

: Lark: Do you mean liberty or negative freedom? If you do and they apparently mean nothing to, your a fool, I mean would you trade your place with the political prisoners in Nigeria, China, Cuba or the US? Or does your 'mere' freedom mean more to you than that?

: Chuck: ????????????

Come on Chuck man, dont drop out now, keep up comrade!!

: Lark: Social Classes arent imaginary ...

: Chuck: Then why did you say they are imaginary?

The broad definition of social class, like working people or earning people, the anarchist defintions of social class or the sociological definitions that take account of the fact that the interests of the richest capitalists may actually correlate with the interests of the poorest citizen, they might even both be capitalists, is accurate it doesnt try to suggest there are two fixed and fighting classes, there arent, things are more complicated than that.

: Lark: ... and there is a fairly terrible class war going on but anarchist or syndicalist perspectives on class war are better than marxist ones because they where invented by workers themselves not for them by some factory owner and his scrounging mate.

: Chuck: Yes, anarchist or syndicalist ideas are better - FOR THE CAPITALISTS!

That is strange, I think the rich people in the bourgousie bar that was blown sky high in the incident that gave anarchy the bad name of terrorism would disagree, likewise the rich people blown up in the theatre by the early Spanish anarchists or any of the rich who fled the anarchist revolution in Spain.

:A view of struggle that rejects politics and seeks a separate victory in each workplace engenders isolation and concentrates militant energy into an endless series of isolated actions.

The general strike concentrates on victories in seperate workplaces?! I dont think so, or consider Seattle or J18, the carnival against capitalism, or the Zapatistas they are recent examples of anarchist organisation.

:As far as working people propagating anarchism, I seem to recall that Bakunin was a rich landowner's son and Kropotkin was a prince, but that's neither here nor there (just like the factory owner and his scrounging mate).

Then why mention it? By and large anarchism is the most workingclass movement I can think of, like Class War in London etc. besides if you think of the anarchist attitude to van guards etc. need essential need for DIY revolution and self-emancipation, where as a trotskyist revolution could be carried out in the workers name there will be no anarchist or syndicalist one until the workers take it upon themselves to do something.

Guess there are jsut some sorts of people who will set and die of thirst waiting on a taxi to take them to an oasis that is within walking distance.

: Lark: What is more important at present than your profession or income, with about half the 'grand proletariat' voting for neo-conservativism is what people believe, their culture, than who they are. If you must have a purely marxist one there's Gramsci.

: Chuck: A culture isn't simply a belief system. It's an interaction between a belief system and an economy, with the economy being determinant (but not always dominant). You can't ignore the economy's influence on ideology.

The economy influences things but the throwing your hands up and declaring determinism approach never gets anything done, it was that approach in Italy that made facism popular because people wanted to celebrate the freewill and they where tired of waiting for the economy to determine a revolution.

:By the way, "a purely Marxist one" what?

Well you scoffed at the anarchist and syndicalist class definitions, get a pint and talk it over with your mates, that way you can think up some of your own ideas instead of thinking a read a powerful good book there the other day.

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