- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Not when you read the fine print.

Posted by: MDG on February 15, 19100 at 13:26:08:

In Reply to: Absolutely Free! posted by Chuck on February 11, 19100 at 12:20:06:

Well Chuck, we had a "Jesus Christ Superstar" thing going for awhile, but ya ruined it. Anyhew:


: : Would you prefer the nastier, harsher kind?

: I don't prefer ANY capitalism.

But since we have capitalism now and for the forseeable future, don't you think we should make it as humane as possible, or would you rather just let some suffer and die under it while you hatch plans for an alternative system which may never come into being?

: : Moving on: IF liberalism strives to lessen oppression, expand freedom, and protect the environment, why do you oppose it (and please spare me your silly "bumper sticker" rejoinders)?

: Because it does not oppose capitalist social relations - it only seeks to smooth them over. Because it speaks in terms of absolutes (e.g. supra-class morals and rights, supra-class states etc.) and because it is the basis for opportunism.

That's sound good theory-spouting on your part, but I'll stick with the real world, and in the real world, liberals advocate:

1. Protecting minority rights.
2. Caring for the poor, disabled, and elderly.
3. Preserving and protecting the environment.
4. Animal rights (though some conservatives sign on to this, too).
5. Protecting freedom of speech, freedom from religious oppression, freedom against unwarranted searches and seizures, and all the other rights in the Bill of Rights.
6. Stopping multinational corporations from plundering the Earth and its inhabitants.
7. Unions and labor rights.

I could go on, but hopefully you catch my drift. Now, do liberals by necessity support capitalism? Perhaps according to the textbook definition of "liberalism," but almost everyone who consider themselves a liberal do not do so with Liberal theory in mind, but with a broader definition of what it means to be "liberal," as enunciated above. Liberals may indeed support socialism or communism or anarchism, which is why I am proud to be called "liberal," even though this does not define me completely by any means.

: : Secondly, how was capitalism founded on liberal principles? Seems to me it was founded on conservative principles: keeping wealth and power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful.

: Does "Liberty, equality, fraternity" ring a bell?

Now THAT'S a bumper sticker response. Explain, please.


: Once again, it's not that I object to your challenges. It's when you all start calling people "sicko", "freak", "cultist", "fascist" (Oh, sorry - you only COMPARED Barry to fascists) etc. and then cry foul when the tables are turned on you.

Now now, I wasn't the one who used ALL those terms. Yes, early on I told Barry he was as dangerous as a fascist, because with all his talk of the demonic bourgeoisie and communisms' opponents as "cancers" and guns and revolution, coupled with his short fuse, he certainly struck me as one whom I wouldn't want to see in power. With experience, I've tempered my opinion of him, though I'm still dubious about turning over the keys to city hall to him. So, in conclusion: yes, I said Barry was as dangerous as a fascist, and yes, I called you a sycophant, but I've now modified my position and no longer consider Barry as dangerous as a fascist.

:Personally, I have been on the receiving end of this sort of abuse for many years and, frankly, I'm tired of it.

Is that why you're so touchy? Sorry, but if you're going to hold a minority opinion, especially one that was on the "enemy" side of the cold war for lo these many years, you'd better grow a thicker hide. Try being an animal rights activist in this meat-obsessed country if you want to experience abuse.

:See, you all can call us fascists, sickos etc. and that's somehow o.k. But if we call you petit bourgeois opportunists (i.e. sickos) it's considered way out of bounds. All I'm asking is that you suck it up and roll with the punches.

You'll have to hit harder than that if you want to see me roll, or even flinch. But it's nice to know that Marxists like you see people who haven't embraced Marxism as sickos, rather than people with differing opinions; let's me know which side NOT to support.

: Barry is, in my opinion, the finest debater on this board. Nobody can touch him and that has nothing to do with my political orientation (although, I must admit it's nice to see Barry shoot you all down like clay pigeons). So, in a way, it is the Barry Stoller board.

You know what opinions are like, right?

: : Wake up, Chuck, there are plenty of people on this board besides Barry, and they represent different ideologies.

: That's not how I see it. With a few exceptions, all I see here is bourgeois ideology dressed up in different garb (e.g. anarchism, liberalism, nationalism, etc.)

That assertion only goes to show the wisdom of the saying, "When all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a nail."

: : Frenchy, for example, approves of American support of bloody right-wing dictators like Pinochet, or fascist groups like CANF, and I will readily challenge him on that. YOU can limit yourself to worshipping at Barry's feet and nipping at his debaters' ankles, but don't expect the rest of us to follow your example.

: Again, challenge Frenchy all you want if it makes you feel good. Just don't expect me to take you seriously.

And yet, you keep responding to me even though you don't take me seriously. Well Chuck, when I conclude that someone is not worth taking seriously, I stop responding to them.

: : : Slinging shit at Frenchy is easy.

: : Why do you say that? Because he says atrocious things? Let's ignore him then and maybe he'll go away or spontaneously join the Green Party. Or maybe if left unchallenged, our silence will equal tacit approval, and the next child who visits this board will see only Frenchy's POV and consider it unchallenged, and hence acceptable.

: I think Frenchy made up his mind a long time ago (and you ain't changing it) so, by all means, challenge Frenchy for the children's sake if that's your thing.

: : :Why don't you debate Barry?

: : Looked around lately? We frequently debate. I even agree with him from time to time.

: You should debate him more often, that's my opinion.

: : :You have run away a couple of times now.

: : Damn that bladder o' mine!

: : : : :Don't change a thing Barry - all the flak you are getting means you are right on target.

: : : : By that logic, Dan Quayle deserves to be President.

: : You haven't responded to this yet. Do you really believe that the more someone is criticized, ergo, the more correct he must be? Vote Quayle -- after all, everyone thinks he's a fool, so he MUST be brilliant!
: Not so. I was merely complementing Barry's skill at handling all the bullshit that he has to put up with - why can't you understand that?

: : : Now don't go getting your locust wings all tied in a knot. If you were a serious liberal you would be debating Barry, not Frenchy.

: : I'm a happy-go-lucky humanistic misanthropic vegan leftist-maybe-
: : anarchist-maybe socialist-but leaning towards anarchist, and I'll debate whomever I want, whenever I want, you (hmmm, reading footnote below)...thank you very much!

: That's just fine MDG. I'm just waiting to take you seriously.

: : : McSpotlight: Look, this is personal abuse and contains zero actual debate; this is a debating room; so please do so. Otherwise, future messages will be rejected.

: Sorry McSpotlight. I'll try to remember to take my medication.

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