- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Efficiency (i.e. material abundance) is a precondition for freedom

Posted by: Stoller on January 13, 19100 at 11:19:11:

In Reply to: Are you arguing for efficiency rather than freedom posted by Lark on January 12, 19100 at 15:03:45:

: Are you arguing for efficiency rather than freedom, how very capitalist.

Efficiency (i.e. material abundance) is a fundamental precondition FOR freedom. When there's only enough surplus for a few, then usurping minorities are obliged to appropriate the limited surplus (see history). When abundance becomes available for all, then equality becomes possible. Only capitalism's mode of production can provide the abundance neccessary for socialism; what MUST CHANGE are the social relations of capitalism. Obviously industrial production can provide amply; it's only the profit-motive and the anarchy of the 'free [read: unplanned] market' that prevents this ample production from actually reaching people's real needs.

Stoller [sarcastically]:
OK, let's do away with efficiency and go back to the middle ages...

: Or perhaps we could do away with capitalist conceptions of efficiency and have freedom.

Here is something so basic that even Frenchy can fill you in. Without abundance, no worker is going to give a damn about revolutionary change. You want to offer working people pie-in-the-sky preindustrial scarcity and poverty and they'll laugh at you. Hell, I'll be laughing, too. What (Marxist) socialism offers working people is BOTH abundance AND real democratic control of the workplace and state.

What you offer is... well, it's rather hard to tell... mainly fine-sounding slogans without much detail...

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