- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Like any other service

Posted by: Barry Stoller on February 07, 19100 at 10:33:52:

In Reply to: Barry, how will your socialism deal with religion, posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on February 06, 19100 at 19:53:05:

: In a society, socialist or otherwise, there are going to be people of different religions. Let's say that half the community is Catholic, and wants to spend some of their resources on ensuring that the functions of a Catholic priest are performed (let's say by a number of individuals, part-time; after all, there are LOTS of part-time priests in the world, e.g. missionaries.) The other half is Hindu, and they want to devotre some of their resources to getting Hindu rituals performed, etc... What I do have a problem with is society as a whole alloting resources in this regard- because Hindus provbably won't want to fund Catholic services with their labor, and vice versa. This means that on some decisions at least, decision sabout prosduction and labor CANNOT be made on a FULLY socialized basis, you will have to dissect society into smaller interest groups and let those groups make some decisions for themselves.

As I see it, religion would be a service and service is a product.

Therefore, the allocation of religious services would follow the general line of allocating any other service, such as music concerts or pizza preparation.

As I said before:

A REAL democracy would permit the 'summer mansion minority' its opportunity to make its summer mansions---proportional to the numerical strength that desire represents. Example: if 10% of the population chose to make summer mansions for itself as its TENTH priority (say, after food, primary housing, child care, and so on), then that 10% of the population would receive 1% of its working time to do so.

This leads us to the question of how much can actually be ACCOMPLISHED with only 1% of the social productivity going into the construction of summer mansions. After all, what characterizes the incredible productivity of industrial manufacture are the economies of scale requiring unremitting production. Example: a plant that runs only 1% of the day sacrifices 99% of its productive capacity. Thus luxury commodities are not mass-produced, itself a reason that they are so expensive...

Returning to the example of summer mansions, if only 1% of social production went into making them (and, certainly, the 10% that desired them could spend any amount of its FREE TIME working on making them), then productivity perforce would be low---and slow. After all, only a small aliquot part of the entire productive capacities of social production would go into making them. That would be 1%.

Regarding your concern that 'Hindus probably won't want to fund Catholic services with their labor, and vice versa,' I would suggest that in a truly democratic application of production everyone would be conforming to the wishes of society as a whole in the allocation of services and products (except free time could be used in any productive manner by voluntary associations). This conformity would be justified by the simple observation that industrial activity is, by its nature, socialized labor. If only five people wanted to--say--build a spaceship, let 'em (find out how socialized industrial activity really is).

Returning to my above examples, I would not propose 'banning' religious services any more than I would suggest 'banning' music concerts or pizza parlors.

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