- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Clearing things up (?)

Posted by: Barry Stoller on January 19, 19100 at 10:53:58:

In Reply to: Did I say that? posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on January 19, 19100 at 01:45:06:

Stoller: ...You want women to stay put in 'traditional' roles.

: Did I say that? Who's putting words into others' mouth NOW?

Was I being hasty? Did I jump to conclusions?

Then I apologize.

You raised my suspicions there---'traditional values,' religion, women staying home. These are flash terms for me...

If I got you wrong, hey, I'm quite sorry.

: Some families like to eat dinner at home. Ditto for kids. As for laundries, I think it would be a good idea...

As long as you're up for cooking and laundry duties at the individual (not collectivized) level---great. I know a lot of women (and men) who will say 'to hell with that, let's have service industries to do that stuff,' however...

: First of all, tradition is not synonymous with patriarchy; most African societies are more patriarchal today than they were prior to colonialism.

I agree with Engels that patriarchy coincided with (private) property relations.

: Second of all, a guy called Robert Graves had a theory about how matriarchy historiaclly preceded patriarchy, maybe matriarchy is the most 'traditional' thing around?

Yes, agreed. Engels (following Lewis) came to exactly that conclusion. Matriarchy, communal relations---all pre-private property.

NJ: What would you do if a man, a women, and their kids all WANT to eat at home? Would you FORCE them to do otherwise?

Stoller: If we consider a democratic application of production, such decisions (whether or not to build kitchens in each home) would be left to all working citizens.

: THERE! THANK you barry for conceding this to me. I think, horror of horrors, that we actually agree on this.

We're clearing things up here...

: One last question: Suppose SOME families want kitchens and others don't. Would they be left to build the kitchens in their free time? That's OK, as long as they have enough time, spare parts, etc. to build the kitchens. Would the stoves and suchlike be provcided free of charge? How about the plumbing? Also, how much time would they have? This isn't going to be some kind of Maoist experiment with twelve-hour days, is it? If the (required) workday exceeds eight hours, then that's no advance over capitalism!

Perhaps you did not read the link?

I thought I specified pretty clearly...

Workers will vote on their consumption priorities. Those decisions will determine production.

If10% of the population votes for, say, private kitchens as their tenth priority, then 1% of society's productive forces will be directed towards producing private kitchens (for those who want them). If10% of the population choose private kitchens as their first priority, then 10% of society's productive resources will go towards private kitchens.

As David recently noticed, this form of democracy accepts the industrial truism that products which are made in large quantity (economies of scale) will be the cheapest.

Concurrently, products made in small quantity will cost more because economies of scale won't assist in the production process.

Therefore, if only a small portion of society puts only a small portion of its productive capacity towards a project, then it will take longer to produce a commodity---and require more work hours.

And vice versa for large (high priority) projects: more products, less labor hours (per aliquot commodity).

Which means that the population as a whole, voting democratically, will determine how many work hours they will work. No 'state body' will do this!

Finally, projects on a very small scale---i.e. statistically miniscue representation amongst the population---will probably require production during the free time of the interested parties who desire these statistically determined 'fringe' items.

Now then.

Perhaps you see why industrialization is such a core component of my 'socialism.'

I want people (myself included) to have LOTS of free time.

Therefore I reject small-scale, preindustrial production because I know that it requires MUCH time in order to produce things. The beauty of the industrial revolution is that it made a great deal of abundance possible by reducing labor-hours per aliquot commodity.

To support or encourage individual subsistence production over collectivized industrial production is to support and encourage handicraft industries---which is less alienating work for workers but require much more time per commodity.

(That's the crux of the big debate I have been having with RD.)

So you choose: collectivized industrialization and MORE free time for people---or individual preindustrial labor and either hardly any commodities or NO free time.

Get it?

Stoller: Some 'socialism,' full of privileges and profits! I say to hell with it---opportunism!

: "Opportunism"?

: What is that, exactly?

Essentially, it's talking socialism but keeping the door open to the capitalists.

: And you woudl have no privileges in your socialsit state? Not even for people who serve the state loyally, risking life and limb?

Special privileges for 'special' state employees?

Son, that shit went out with Stalin.

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