- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: MDG on December 16, 1999 at 10:53:21:

To Everyone Here:

Since college, my primary political concerns have been animal rights and environmentalism. After that, it was opposing the Reagan/Bush administrations in the U.S., my country. Just having Bill Clinton end the RB years in 1992 was a tremendous relief. I'd have celebrated the election of a rock, anything, as long as it wasn't George Bush.

Clinton has been a great disappointment, and my vote for Ralph Nader in 1996 was a foregone lost cause. I'd long decided that global, corporate capitalism was grossly unjust. It has led to the immiseration of millions languishing in poverty, a life of struggle to pay the bills while caught in the daily grind for millions more (my situation), and obscene wealth for a relative handful. It has also destroyed the environment, and nurtured war and repression in the third world, and to a lesser degree, in the industrialized nations. Global capitalism must go.

With that in mind, I ended up here in this chat board, seeking an alternative system. The obvious contender was socialism. I asked a lot of questions, mostly of Barry Stoller, and the answers I received have persuaded me that socialism, at least in its Marxist form, is not the solution. I was told that certain freedoms I enjoy would be curtailed. In fact, I was told that under socialism I would be "allowed" to choose one specialized field to work in. I'm sorry, but I already live under a system which limits my freedoms. I'm not about to trade that in for a system which will limit my freedoms even more. I have no desire to ditch the devil I know for the devil I don't know, and I damn well won't give up those freedoms I have now. I love freedom.

What I'm looking for is a system which offers the following:

1) A commitment to green politics, i.e., a sustainable use of resources, with paramount importance given to protecting and conserving the natural world;

2) A commitment to labor rights, human rights, and civil rights (with room for animal rights, should that movement to change hearts and minds finally succeed);

3) Diminishing the gap between the haves and have nots as much as is possible, so that no one is very poor, or very rich. Equality should be the ideal, not an afterthought; and

4) An expansion of freedom to its greatest limits.

You all are knowledgeable people, with insight into various philosophies. I'd like to hear from you if you think the system you champion can best meet my criteria. I'm open to anything: anarcho-syndicalism, Keynesian capitalism, socialism of a non-Marxist variety, the works. If I'm to commit my time, energy, and money to a cause, I want to be sure of it. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup