- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Morality, Self-interest and the Ethical Dimension of Socialism

Posted by: Lark on February 17, 19100 at 13:24:29:

I was surveying a number of posts back there by MDG and NJ about the relationship between morality and socialism and I thought I'd make the following points:

- I do think that the genuine socialist is guided by a profoundly militant ethical code grounded in humanism. I think this is evident from the fact that so many socialists who are not of a working class origin are willing to die or defend a cause which essentially contradicts their IMMEDIATE self-interest. I will return to matter of those socialists who stress institutes, victory, battles and ideology are of more important than humans in a moment.

- I stress immediate because I believe that self-interest does play an important role in motivating people to become or behave as socialists, for instance:

1) An economy based on consensus is more productive than one in which one class is attempting perpetually to rob the other and the other is seeking perpetually to defend itself.
2) Capitalism requires competition, now anyone who champions competition is likely to be the very one who is at present a 'winner' and is trying very, very hard to institute their domination in the place of competition, it would allow everyone to live a far more pleasant and relaxed life if they didn't have to compete.
3) Under capitalism your time must be spent producing for others whether you wish to or not.
4)The earth has only finite resources, capitalism proposes to pursue a system of infinite growth, this will lead to everyones destruction and then no will have their interests satisfied.

- George Sorel wrote that he could imagine the revolutionary that was not a democrat and libertarian and then his syndicalist book,'reflections on violence', that glories the role of heroic violence in resolving the class war was used by the Nazi's and Facists as a excuse to make violence and political struggle synominous, this illustrates the potential of revolutionary struggles to be terrible reactionary triumphs when they are guided by loyalty to institutions or plans rather than a humanist ethical code.

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup