- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Names will never hurt me

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 16, 19100 at 01:41:13:

In Reply to: When it comes to your petty proprietor 'socialism' & patriarchal attitudes, it's the most apt word posted by Stoller on January 15, 19100 at 11:50:47:

: Do I ever hate debating abortion... esecially with the religious...

Actually, my religion does not prohibit abortion. However, given that certaion religions like the Catholic Church do prohibit abortion, it behooves us to ask what their reasons are, and to consider whether or not their reasons are convincing to us.

: : Exactly why is it the woman's only decision? Either the fetus is a human being, or it's a non-human "object" like an unfertilized egg, or it's something on a continuum in between. If it's a human, it oughtn't to be deprived of life in teh first place, at least not without input from as many involved people as possible; if it's an object, clearly both the father nad the nmother have claims to it. If it's somewheer in between, I still don't see how you reason that it's only the mother's decsiion.

: When I say 'freedom to or freedom from,' I mean, in that paradigm, only one side gets freedom.

The operative idea isn't WHO get's the freedom, it's WHAT KIND of rights are allowed. A capitalist society does not allow you the right to hoursing. A socialist one does not recognize the right to make a profit (of course, they may still allow profits in certain specific circumstances).

: Freedom for the capitalist---or freedom from the capitalist? They're not compatible. Freedom for (even) one person to pollute the air---or freedom from pollution? They're not compatible. Freedom for the mother---or freedom for the unborn child? Again, they're not compatible.

The real question, then, is whose freedom is more valuable in this circumstance. If the fetus has the claim on life equal to a human (which i doubt) then no freedom for anyone else can justify taking away its right.

You too, thogh you may deny it, recogmnize the ranking of "freedoms", and would agree, I think, that the freedom to live outranks anything else. Example: the white citizens of New York vote to have an African American homeless man, caught for shoplifting, executed as an example to the city. If he is executed, petty crime rates will drop. Does that make it right to execute him? of course not! His right to life and to due process outweight New Yorkers' right to safe streets by about a hundred country miles.

: A CHOICE HAS TO BE MADE---in all instances where freedoms are not compatible. Like I said here, this isn't the time for postmodern wishy-washiness, sides must be taken.

Sides must be taken, true, but teh way to decide about soem freedoms vs.otehrs is to look at WHICH rights are being violated, and HOW IMPORTANT they are, not at WHOM they belong to. Capitalism is bad because it denies what I consider to be fundamental rights, such as housing, food, etc. If socialism then proceeded to deny certaingroups of people the right to have housing, then I would consoder that no improvement.

: : But the question is really, "Does the fetus have a claim to human life...

: Yawn...go bother someone on the Anything Else board, NJ...

If you don't want to discuss it, a simple "No thanks" would suffice.

: Stoller:
: To stay with a spouse merely because that would be the 'expedient' thing to do (read: economic dependence) is to DENY love-bonds.

: : Yes.

: Stoller:
: Therefore marriage (as in obligation to stay together) is reactionary.

: : But every society displays some form of marriage- for teh children'/s sake, if nothing else?

: In a proper communist society, children would be cared for by their parents.

: But if anything should go wrong with that family, society should be equipped to care for the child.

Well, OBVIOUSLY. I agree with you there. (Unless uncles or grandparents or cousins wish to step in, which would most probably be the case in many African or South Asian societies. You would allow that too, I'm sure.)

But such sensible and self-evident proposals are a far cry from whaqt you said before, about teh nuclear family being esesentially wrong.

Do you wonder why I got my hackles raised when you said thta? As it stands right now, I have no more disagreement with you on that one.

: : Easy divorce hurts women more than men. Just look at countries like Pakistan, where a man can easily divorce hsi wife whenever he gets tired of her (under Islamic Shariah law). How do you think Pakistani women like that? Easy divorce allows men to use women as sex objects, while lying to them that they will be lifelong partners.

: In BOURGEOIS society, yes.

True, capitalism aggarvates these selfish tendencies, as is its habit. But the temptation of men to abandon their wives and go searching for soemone else (usually younger) is to some extent a hardwired instinct, stemming from evolution and differing degrees of sexual desire. This means that even in a non-capitalist society, some methods may be necessary to persuade men to honor their commitments.

: I'm talking about communism here... where social services and access to the means of production would be so abundant that women would be as free as men traditionally are in choosing---orleaving---relationships...

Oh, certainly. But still, how do you imagine a woman would feel if her partner got bored and went looking for someone else? Quite apart from any financial issues, she would be hurt. Even rich, self-suffcient women are hurt by adulterous partners. Isn't it in our common good to try and discourage that?

:There wouldn't be 'divorce' because there wouldn't be 'marriage.' Love would not be a contract, it would be a (private) relation. Same for the children.

Good idea, although pace Gee, I believe caring for children is not a 'chosen obligation'- I mean, let;s not get all libertarian here....

: Engels:


: [Communism] will transform the relations between the sexes into a purely private matter which concerns only the persons involved and into which society has no occasion to intervene. It can do this since it does away with private property and educates children on a communal basis, and in this way removes the two bases of traditional marriage, the dependence, rooted in private property, of the woman on the man and of the children on the parents.(1)

Still, love bonds between a parent and child are still speacial, in a way that bonds to teh state aren't. Of course,, bonds to teh state are special in other ways.



: : Now, I'm not syaing couples shouldn't be allowed to divorce, or that divorce is not sometimes necessary. I am saying its somethingthat snhouldn't be entered into lightly or casually.

: You sound so conservative, so patriarchal...

Well, what's wrong with wanting to 'conserve" what's good in traditional society? If I was in the Soviet union in Gorbachev's time I might well probably have been a "conservative" in that context.
And what's partiarchal about what i said? Read the sentence again. Do you think divorce SHOULD be entered into "lightly or casual"? Mr. Jones comes home one day and says, "Darling, do you wnat to screw? No? Sorry, I'm outta here?"

Come on!

: : What's wrong with a family wanting to spend thirty minutes together over an intimate dinner? Family bonding, and all thta. What's wrong with allowing people the choice whether or not tehy want to eat dinner with their neighbors every night? What about freedom of choice?

: What's wrong with it? Well, what's wrong with it is that usually women always do the cooking and the cleaning up...

The fact that a freedom is sometimes violated in a certain way does not amke that freedom any less worth honoring.

Anyway, in a communsit society isf women became tired with subjugation tehy woudl elave teh relationship, as you yourself said. That would tend to force the duties to be equalized, under thr4eat of ending the relationship. So that problem would be solved.

If increased opportunity for women would solve the problem of unequal duties, why force communal dining halls? if opportunity will do it,force is unnecessary.

In any case, this is suvch a personal freedom- to have family dinners and privayte tiem- that even if it woudl solve certain problems, I can't defend anything that woudl compel them to give it up. My question is a simple one. Suppose a family wants to eat together, and not in teh communal dining hall. Suppose they all agree that they really want to have dinnertime to thesmelves a s a family. Are you going to comple them to eat in the dining hall? If so, count me out [of this specific plan, not of socialism as a whole].

: : What's wrong with getting the kids to help with the dishes?

: Why didn't you mention MEN helping with the dishes?

What do you think I meant, Barry- I was a male child, for God's sake! ME helping with teh dishes meant a male child helping with the dishes. Anyway, I certainly have no problem with that.

: What's wrong with rationalized job rotation so the cooking and the cleaning up can fall to EVERYONE (men included, pal) in equal shares?

Nothing's wrong with it, IF IT"S VOLUNTARY. If it's compulsory, it violates teh most basic freedoms imaginable!

:As far as privacy goes, ever heard of seperate tables (like in restuarants)?

YEah, right, Barry. When was the last time you and your brotehr coudl tell vulgar jokes in a restaurant? restaurant privacy is very, very limited. Anyone who wamnts to eat at hoem MUST have the right.

: : Anyway, many women would prefer to take time off and raise children; shouldn't they have the choice? Isn't that freedom?

: You have a suspiciously male point of view. Most women want BOTH child raising and outside work---job rotation, you know...

YEs, but not necessarily at the same time- any way, if they want that they should have it....it shoudl be VOLUNTARY, just like the choice to just raise kids or to just ahve a job.

: Stoller:
: [Child rearing] also kept [women] isolated, in the house all the time...

: : Uhhh, no.

: 'Uhhh, no'?

Look at West Africa, again please. (It was in the original post)

: Stoller:
: ...which perpetuated their illiteracy and backwardness and submissiveness to the men who 'earned their living' FOR them...

: : What about allowing women to do both housework and 'earn a living'?? anyway, I advocate a future in which no one HAS to earn a living, I think that money should be necessary only for a few luxuries; food, medicine, leisure, shelter, education, etc. should be free.

: I say no money at all.

Well, what about for luxuries when the basic needs of life have been meant? Person A wants to play golf in his spare time. person B wants to go to teh opera. Person C wants to catch a bus down to Mexico. Isn't it simplest to give them the petty cash they need for these luxuries.

: And yes, women (like men) should care for their children AND work outside the home, too. Have we finally found common ground here? I mean, jeez, these are perfectly acceptable concepts to the bourgeoisie...

Yes, we've found common ground (to an extent). And no, they are not acceptable concepts to teh bourgeoisie. If they were, clothes factories in El Salvador wouldn't forc-feed the Pill to their female workers. Try again.

: Stoller:
: I'm all for love-bonds. I'm all for children. And you can bet that I'm all out for relationships in which all parties---yes, even the kids---have the freedom to leave the 'nuclear unit' should it become a place they don't like (therefore, regarding children, those day---and night---care centers should be VERY quality)... That is how love stays REAL.

: : Yes. But when it comes to the kids, how many rights shoudl they be given? Lets say their parents want to teach them about communism, but they'd rather go play video games? Are you going to indulge that preference? That would be absurd.

: No, you are being absurd. Will the child centers in a socialist culture be filled with video games? Unless you're talking to Lark, no...

No video games either? Well, I could live with that. As a matter of fact, I would like that, a lot....do you knwo how much time American youth wastes on video games?

: The same ruling ideas that inform the parents will be there in the child care centers...

Along with, of course, alternate historical ideas so that kids are free to choose...

: : Didn't MArx CRITICIZE capitalism for destroying the family relationship?

: Yes---but conditionally. But he (and, especially, Engels) was clear that only complete financial independence could 'liberate' women, so they supported women entering the workforce. Capitalist reliance upon female laborers was progressive compared with feudal 'housewife' work.

If capitalism is bad, it's bad. It's an accepted axiom that teh status of women in Africa fell SIGNIFICANTLY as a result of colonialism, capitalism and 'industrializatition." Specifically, what happened was that the women's dominant position in trade and agricultrue was usurped, men were educated and given the best jobs, men were forced to find moigrant jobs and leave their wives to take care of the kids, traditional religious and cultural beliefs that stressed the power and independence of women were dissolved in favor of Victorian sexism, prostitution was introduced, etcetera. To be honest, these symptosm in their worst manifestations were not found all over Africa, but were concentrated in certain areas. But if you want to look at what they did to the status of women, look at South Africa, where forcible capitalisation recahed its peak. Look at the rape rates there for a minute, and then compare with the miniscule rape rates in still traditional West Africa.

: Lenin:


: By destroying the patriarchal isolation of the... population who formerly never emerged from the narrow circle of domestic, family relationships, by drawing them into direct participation in social production, large-scale machine industry stimulates their development and increases their independence, in other words, creates conditions of life that are incomparably superior to the patriarchal immobility of precapitalist relations.(2)

Barry, statistics convince me; quotes merely tell me what LEnin thought, which is not necessarily what I think. What Lenin said up tehre about the progressive nature of capitalism is flat wrong, at least in the African context, and I showed why above. So why do you expect me to abandon hard data just because Lenin happens to agree with the capitalist fuckwits on this question?

: : You're losing a valuable ally, Barry, and I don't mean myself. I mean those people, particularly in the Third World, who support tradition and the family. "Family values" and "tradition" both provide strong, strongcritiques of capitalism. And I believe that if capitalism is bad (which it is) then we should try to defeat it, and that means taking allies where we find them.

: No, I disagree. There are many 'allies' that will turn on the proletariat once the 'common enemy,' big business, is overturned.

So said the hydra as its one head devored the others and it bled to death....

:The 'religious right' is one such 'ally.'

Who the FUCk is talking about the religious right? How can any kind of 'right' be our ally on anything/ I'm talking about the religious LEFT. Catholic socialism, Quaker socialism, Buddhist socialism, Gandhian socialism, etcetera.

: And you, I'm afraid, seem to share some of their disgustingly backward views...

On what? I see it as ultimately consistent. I believe that freedom is not absolute, and that it must be circumscribed both to secure human rights (socialism) and family harmony (religion, traditional family).

: And your bit about school vouchers---yikes!

Why? I went to a private school. To be consistent, I have to uphold that right to everyone. Hence school vouchers. If you disagree with them,, you're either going to have to abolish private schools (which violates freedom, particularly freedom of conscience- what happens if the Quakers want to have their own schools to preach peace and love?) or to allow them only to the rich and the very smart (which violates equality).

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