- Capitalism and Alternatives -

My intention is to wake you up, not to hurt you

Posted by: Barry Stoller on January 16, 19100 at 15:43:33:

In Reply to: Names will never hurt me posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on January 16, 19100 at 01:41:13:

Stoller: 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.

That's contradictory. 'Private' schools---like private property---can only mean access for some, not all. Your other points about vouchers were addressed by MDG here, quite ably.

Moving on...

: 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.

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


Moving on...

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

The nuclear family is essentially wrong?

Is that what I said?

Let's check in with what I said.

In this post, I said:

As far as Stalin goes, he reversed the Bolshevik position on abortion-on-demand primarily because he wished to uphold the nuclear family (read: women's subordination to men). His other polices in this area---such as rejecting communal laundries, dining halls, etc.---bears this interpretation out.

Mentioning Stalin again, I said:

Substituting veneration for the traditional nuclear family FOR communal laundries, dining halls, child care centers, etc., only made women DEPENDENT upon men (for they could not earn their own living while raising children and doing housework all the time). It also kept them isolated, in the house all the time, which perpetuated their illiteracy and backwardness and submissiveness to the men who 'earned their living' FOR them...

I think my definition of 'nuclear family' preceded my criticism of it.

As I said before, Engels defended the nuclear family to the point of insisting that love-bonds should be released from all state intervention and all economic persuasion. Hence the Bolsheviks were progressive (and true to the spirit of Marxism) when they called for communal dining halls, laundries, and child care centers so women could be liberated from the home.

You seem to have some issues with that; fine, but please don't claim that I have been attacking the nuclear family---I have called for STRENGTHENING the family through abolishing the extra-emotional conditions that keep families 'together' when the love has expired.

: 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.

'Some methods to persuade men to honor their commitments'?

No thanks---not the task of socialism.

: 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?

Are we to FORCE men who reject their women to stay with them anyway?

Think it through, man---you're laying the foundations for patriarchal abuse and a complete negation of love-bonds. (Which calls up the idea of forcing a woman to keep a child she rejects...)

: 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?"

Again, should the man be forced to stay if he wants to leave? Is that your idea of strengthening relationships between men and women?

You seem to miss the truly revolutionary idea of Engels' vision here. Engels wanted to abolish divorce by abolishing marriage. What would remain would be free and equal relationships between men and women (and children) who only stay together because they choose to do so.

When you suggest forcing relationships upon people, that's when I say your views are patriarchal.

Moving on...

Stoller: 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.

Money, as I see it, won't be necessary in a society that produces (only) for human needs (which includes wants). 'Luxuries' will be produced for those---and by those---who want them. See this post.

Moving on...

Stoller: 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!

Now you're being obtuse (like Lark).

Let's take it from the top.

Pollution. If one (even one) person wants to pollute, then ALL of society is subjected to pollution. In order to free everyone from pollution, that one polluting person must be stopped (nothing voluntary about that). So much for 'market democracy.'

The same applies to job rotation.

If one (even one) person wants to do only skilled work, then everyone else must take on the added unskilled work that the one shirker leaves undone. Don't you get it? Society is nexus. We cannot 'voluntarily' absent ourselves from social responsibilities when we don't like them and still have all the benefits of society (Lark and Gee's delusion); the best we can do is to acknowledge the nexus and minimize the inequality.

Returning to the dialectic of historical materialism...


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.

: 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?

Africa is a pretty poor example of a developing industrial country, don't you think?

If you think a woman is better in the home than supporting herself in the workplace, then you're reacting against inexorable change (and the financial equality of women).

I'm not defending capitalism---I'm merely saying that it has a historic mission. It's historic mission (among others) is to bring all (adult) individuals into socialized production (even though socialized production under the social relations of capitalism is usurped by a minority). The reason socialized production is so important is IT IS THE MATERIAL PRECONDITION OF (MODERN) SOCIALISM.

Which brings us right back to our long-standing disagreement regarding peasant socialism versus industrialized (centralized) socialism... and your petty-bourgeois veneration for 'some' private ownership of the means of production...

: A socialist [society] does not recognize the right to make a profit (of course, they may still allow profits in certain specific circumstances).

Excuse me? Does that actually make sense? I think your socialist heart and your petty bourgeois brain are having communication problems again.

As long as you believe that there are such things as 'good proprietors,' I'm afraid your 'socialism' will be contradictory and flawed.

'Market socialism' leads to only one place: capitalism's reemergence (see history).

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