- Capitalism and Alternatives -

labor is (predominantly) social, so shouldn't the profits also be socially appropriated?

Posted by: NJ ( DSA, MA, USA ) on February 08, 19100 at 10:13:20:

In Reply to: there is a reply to your Korea question at the bottom :) posted by W.A.M. on February 07, 19100 at 17:26:15:

: one point on the original subject (sorry, i am new at this, but bear with me and i'll try to make it interesting :), communism will never work and "uptopia" can never be acceived because of one major humnan flaw: greed. in Michael Walzer essay, "Spheres of Justice, a defense of pluralism and equality", he makes and interesting point about human nature.

Michael Walzer is also a radical cultural relativist, (saying essentially, 'justice is what the community says is just') which I am not. It's odd, then, that he would talk about an absolute 'human nature", isn't it? It strikes me as an inconsistency. I have read some sections of his book about just wars, though. It's quite interesting. He draws the importamnt disticntion between terrorism, and other forms of extralegal violence such as punitive assassination; and he points out some crucial differences in techniques, and thus in the moral status, of groups such as the Viet Cong, the American and Indian armed forces, the FLN (Algeria) and the PLO.

: to paraphase, if you take all the resources and distribute them evenly in the beginning of the day, and give everyine "equal" power in the government, by the end of the night, the wealth would have been unequally reditributed,

Not necessarily. First of all, why couldn't the law simply prohibit the appropriation of goods (strict communism) or labor (Marxism) for private use? People won't becoem greedy if you don't ALLOW them the opportunity.

: cause a class conflict (due to some trading goods for wealth, other saving..... etc.....)

You're imagining a future that would combine an equal starting position with libertarian rules. That's not what we imagine at all. There would be no trade. There would be very little use for money- only for luxuries, since food, shelter, medicine, education, leisure, etc. would all be supplied free.

(Marxist) communism, by the way, postulates the abolition of government. Remember 'the state will wither away'?

: and power will have been given back to the few (someone enivitably convince another to let him/her lead by a passionate speach).

You're correct that the appropriation of welath is the usurpation of power- libertarians don't recognize that. But first of all, power, like everything else would be ROTATEd, so no 'dictators' could emerge.

: however, this is not to say that socialism does not work. as where communism looks for the perfect uptpia, socialism acknowledges the fact that that ideal can never be accieved.

Not necessarily. Some socialists (myself included) believe that communism can and does work, but that it falls a bit short of the dieal. Personally, I believe that the ideal would be a society with 80-90% public ownership, rather than 100%. That's not to say a society with 100% public ownership couldn't work. It could work, and it has. The Pygmies had 100% public ownership, and some modern states approached the ideal.

:in switzerland, there is a perfect example of socialism at work.

No, Switzerland is a conservative capitalist state. They have mandatory gun ownership, for God's sake!

: the goverenment takes care of ALL medical needs (including pscycholocial and other non-conventional treatments) and ALL education (elementary to getting your Ph.D).

Ditto for Cuba, and most recently for Venezuela. I'm sure Sweden also does similar things, and they are more genuinely socialist than Switzerland.

:even foriegn visitors that have injured themselves on swiss soil can recieve free treatment. however, the draw back that over 60% of what the swiss make goes directly to the goverenment.

Well, labor is (predominantly) social, so shouldn't the profits also be socially appropriated?

: the question, there in,no longer lies not in the ideals of old, but should be how much power does the government need.

No, because in a socialist democracy, the people are the governmnet. And the ideals DO differ, see above. Socialism is not just pessimistic communism; it's something quite different.

: to reply back to the question of S. Korea, yes, it is a "demmocratic" state, but socialism has been banned to practice (you can thanks the U.S.A...... study Korean history, it's interesting....) because of the war with their nothern brethern. yes people, the Koreans are technically still at war with each other.

But is it possible for a country to be democratic, while banning advocacy of certain economic suystems? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

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