- Capitalism and Alternatives -

But I like geting too excited (one attempt only)

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on January 17, 19100 at 18:50:13:

In Reply to: Don't get too excited, Gee (better yet) posted by Barry Stoller on January 17, 19100 at 17:27:31:

: So deformed that Gorbachev, in his new book, denies expressly that the U.S.S.R. was EVER socialist (and wouldn't he know?). Lenin, lest we forget, NEVER called the U.S.S.R. socialist , either... So, slow down, Gee!

Ok, as I said before (with regard to RD, Lark etc) - perhaps you could take it on yourself to clarify these labels we (me included) bandy about to signify the broad 'left' of the political spectrum. Perhaps we need to clarify what constitutes socialism and anarchism (and who's who) in terms of 'must haves'.

: One: The capitalist ideology (you imply here) which seperates people into lazy and promethean is quite flawed. A hundred unmotivated people can accomplish MUCH MORE than one motivated person can. Collective labor-power is not to be gainsaid.

I accept the generalised rule as being a possible rule of thumb, but have a vital exception - a hundred people who did not conceive of the wheel cannot equal the effect of the one who did. Its in the mind, and all that.

: Two: I have never denied that incentive might assume the form of indirect coercion.

You are quite clear on this, as quoted, except I think the 'indirect' is not quite so indirect.

: Why is it you want communism to be voluntary yet, at the same time, you don't expect the same of capitalism (which you defend)? One standard for me, another for you? That's not very honest.

Please dont misinterpret me. I dont *want* communism to be voluntary, I say that communism sans control and enforcement *must* be voluntary or it falls apart as you have described. So I am not behind RD's socialism in order to to support a toothless possibility, I give it the credibility of accepting that people *won't* want institutionally enforced communism which you correctly identify the necessity of (esp with regard to job rotation). You see, I'm not *that* sneaky after all.

: Which means: sure, people are not intrinsically equal---but that's no reason to allow some (a minority) to usurp all the means of production (the predicate of wage-slavery). Let each person work to their ability WHILE OWNING AN ALIQUOT SHARE OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION. That's socialism (properly defined): From each according to their ability, to each according to their work.*

This last concept requires an indepth analysis in itself. In short, I think people *dont* and won't work that way voluntarily for various reasons and I think your posts on job rotation are in acceptance of this state.

: Your insinuation that EXCEPTIONALLY talented individuals should be EXEMPT from job rotation (sharing a portion of unskilled work) is tacit approval of the social division of labor that MUST lead to hierarchy.

Actually its no insinuation, I stated that their ability makes them unassailably into a position of exclusive skill ('excluded' from others by their ability) which cannot be rotated. That is what I wished to see resolved in your model. I'm sure they could sweep with the best of them, but in their speciality they would be far and away from their peer group - who would be unable to match them, unable to take their place. In this they would be alone, divided from others.

: I'd like to think any Marxist worth his / her salt understands the preconditions of capitalism...

I think you have the catering size salt pack when it comes to Marx and his writings. Much as we may vehemently disagree on matters I can appreciate your ability to bring to bear the Marxist perspective with appropriate quotations, and to understand some of its necessary outcomes (enforceable job rotation for example) even as I oppose them. I imagine that I am correct in assuming that socialism is not a menu from which to pick the 'nice bits' any more than the politically powerful today treat the free market as something from which to pick the 'nice' bits.

: My point was not to 'disprove' communism's viability (as you may have thought I did unintentionally), but to demonstrate that the utopian, anarchist childishness that is 'liberty in the workplace' MUST evolve into individual private property AKA petty-bourgeois proprietorship. Hence anarchism IS petty-bourgeois 'socialism.'

No, I think I do understand your intent - to position socialism as a package 'deal' which stops being socialism when one tries to have some of it and not all of it (ie the enforcement).

: So put the drool back in your mouth, Gee.

No thanks, it would have gone cold by now! I'll allow the community to make use of it.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup