- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I was trying to make a distinction between petit-bourgeois shop-owners and big-time capitalists.

Posted by: Fred on January 30, 19100 at 20:36:47:

In Reply to: Betty, the non-pave-the-earther posted by David on January 29, 19100 at 12:27:59:

Dave, I just want to say first that I appreciate your presence here. I disagree, but you're a bright, honest guy. But, disagree I do and disagree I must. Here we go:

Dave said: But you see, if I were to go strictly by the definition of capitalist, than Betty would indeed be one. For you see, what she did was take a limited amount of capital that she owned and started to produce a product. That product was bought by consumers and she was then able to reinvest into her business and allow it to grow. So, in actuality Betty is a capitalist. She has invested capital in order to realize more capital.

I was trying to make a distinction between petit-bourgeois shop-owners (notoriously reactionary and wedded to the system) and big-time capitalists. I was saying that she's not on a level with the big boys because she has little political influence.

Dave said: In your attempt to "clear up different definitions" you added your own bias to them by essentially stating [above] that to be a capitalist one must have an incestous relationship with the government, screw consumers, not take responsibility for your business, and harm the environment. Are there any other conditions you would like to add? For instance you could also state that all capitalists must attend the joint Illuminati/New World Order/Pave the Earth/Chrome the moon committee every year to think up new ways to pave Walden and screw the proletariat. You could also add that they must also have Ronald Reagen altars etc... etc...

This is exaggeration for comic effect, and it did make me laugh. Of course that's not what I was saying. I was saying that, that Betty's story is used as a microcosm for the system as a whole, which it is most certainly not. And I wanted to imply (the artsy-fartsy part of my letter) that, no matter how "honest" or "kind" Betty is, she can't escape her class position, which is becomes capitalist .

This story has resonance in my personal life. I worked for a shop-owner who, though extremely kind and generous in his personal relations, had to operate within the imperatives of the capitalist profit motive. In other words, the system forced him to screw his workers--he knew it, he admitted it, he said he was sorry, but he did it anyway.

Dave: Anyways, my point is that unless you adhere to the barebones definition of capitalist than dialogue will get nowhere. It is for this reason that I do not characterize (or at least try not to) all socialists as bleeding heart liberals/ivory tower academics who believe that all of mankind can't function without their copyrighted master plan that they intend to have published which due to their infatuation with a thesaurus and lawyer-style (herein, heretofore, wherefore, thence, etc...) writing only similar minded academics will understand, thus leaving the people they are trying to "emancipate" in the dark.

Hey, now, there you go. This is why I'm glad you've come into this debating room.

This paragraph is good. Tart humor is one of the things the Left is lacking. I disagree, of course, but this paragraph is still funny.

I look forward to more exchanges with you.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup