- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Yours in solidarity

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on December 29, 1999 at 10:32:53:

In Reply to: Not (magic) pills---just the education, thanks posted by Stoller on December 27, 1999 at 13:32:56:

: : ...as if education is not available to anyone who wants it. I know the problem you have, Barry. You expect someone who wants it (and probably those who don't) to be able to get it for nothing.

: And why not?

: Unlike---say, gasoline and automobiles---education is a relatively abundant natural resource. WE already got the books and the buildings; just hire on some more teachers and universal education can be easily accomplished.

I agree! I think, actually, that while we disagree on some things, Barry, we also have alot of similar views. Of course we may need to train more teachers, and improve the existing schools as well; but I don't think education needs to be very expensive.

: Where's the money for the teachers going to come from, you ask? How 'bout out of that $300 billion Cold War Pentagon budget the American tax-payers prop up each year?

Yes. Or the government can nationalize a few profitable industries, and generate some cash that way. GM is a prime example. Punish the hell out of those callous murderers, and make moeny for teh American people whiel we're at it.

(Or did you not hear about how GM California, after finding out that its dangerously placed gas tanks ciould easily catch fire in an accident, CONSCIOUSLY CHOSE to keep them where they were, and accept teh inevitable deaths and lawsuits, rather than spending money to move them? They actually calculated that the money from lawsuits to the families of dead victims would be less than the money they needed to move the tanks. These are the 'capitalists' that Stuart, Dr Cruel, anmd the rest of them like to defend.)

: : My dad worked full time...

: Tell you what.

: I'll swap my dad anecdote for yours, then we'll be even.

Well, anecdotes do havbe merit, IF you see them IN LIGHT OF the appropriate statistics. Anecdotes can flesh out., supplement, or provide complicating wrinkles on theories and statistics., They can't SUBSTITUTE for them. BEcause I have any number of anecdotes detailing the splendors of capitalism, I have an equal number detailing its horrors.

: Actually, then we'll need to take a look at EVERYBODY'S ELSES dad's anecdotes---which brings us right back to the statistics I regularly offer.

Good point.

: : The problem with free education to the masses (provided in government schools) is that the state controls it. That doesn't have a good track record looking backwards. For all the looking you do it's a wonder why you never spot these things.

: How come you 'get the state off our back' guys never criticise the postal system? Think of it: one postcard put into a mailbox in England gets to Alabama five days later. Amazing.

Or the nuclear bomb, also developed under state auspices. Or social security. Or the space program.

: Going further, why don't you 'get the government off our back' guys ever criticise the Pentagon?

Because the Pentagon is a reactionary power center?

: BESIDES you should know by now that the 'state' I refer to is not the present capitalist state---but a worker's state in which the workers get to make their own decisions regarding what to produce---for themselves.

: Stoller:
: BTW, how's those employees of yours doing without health benefits this Christmas season? No one sick or injured, I hope...

: : Worry about yourself, Barry. At the rate your posting it won't be long before your living in a box.

: Even if I was starving and living in a box, I would still consider you a greedy hypocrite to call yourself a Christian while denying your piecework employees health benefits.

Barry, so much for your dismissal of altruism and self-sacrifice. Your statement just TYPIFIED altruism and self-sacrifice. Placing the interest of what's right over your own self-survival. I hope I could do the same. I hope we all could. BEcause if enough peopel could lose their self-interest, just for a moment, tehn the capitalist system would fall tomorrow.

: If that makes you feel bad, then I'm doing them a service. And you.

Excellent point! A selfish man, unltimately, cannot live a happy, rewarding life. But again, your own statement casts doubt on your Marxist materialism. In what sense does Stuart benefit from hearing what you ahve to say? If his statement is accurate, he won't benefit mayterially. (Nor would I, most probably). If the materialist view of humanity is true, he won't benefit at all, because tehre is no 'soul' or 'conscienec' that could psosibly benefit. (Correct me if I'm wrong).

To say that Stuart benefits by doing what is right, then, is to suggest that there is a soul, or an innate morality, that transcends teh material world.

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