- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Think again citizen, please.

Posted by: lark on February 22, 19100 at 16:59:42:

In Reply to: Sure, I care. posted by Hank on February 22, 19100 at 15:30:13:

: Hank: Sure, I care.


:But you're question is loaded, Lark, and deep inside you know it.


:I don't think Stoller is trying to clear names here, rather he's explaining the material reality which faced the the people who were trying to build the first workers' state. That's something worth thinking about, don't you think?

What your suggesting here is that considering the actions taken in defense of a specific political and socio-economic order can be legitimising without it consequentially serving as a legimisation or 'name clearing' of the people who gave the orders etc., or that they are two seperate issues, I dont think so.

I'm no raving anarchist, friend, but I resist the defense of institutions and leaders and veneration of leadership when it is at the expense of working people, the dispossessed, the non-partisan socialists, in short, if I must employ dated terminology, the Proletariat.

: Lark: Does it really make any kind of a difference to the economic system or base of society if the bolsheviks where oh so innocent or not?

: Hank: Listen to yourself, Lark! "Oh-so innocent or not" is an obvious exaggeration, a typical tactic of those contriving to misunderstand.

Fair enough dispite my attempts to appear no partisan, I have failed, it annoys me that people persist in the defense of murderous regime as socialist, it gives ammunition to capitalists and leads to a political sectarianism that is death to socialism.

: The whole point of my "Crack at Morality" letter was to try to show how pinning moral blame, while maybe sociologically necessary, is nonetheless philosphically unteneble; it's really a game of musical chairs. I thought you were a fellow recovering Irish Catholic, but you don't look so recovering anymore.

I dont quite understand what you are saying here, I wasnt trying to apportion blame, just suggesting that the blame game is nonsense and a waste of time and effort, do you see anarchist stressed out about specific incidents in the history of anarchist that are disasters no they simply move on, the left is trapped in this pernicious nostalgia and historical revisionism.

: Lark: No it doesnt the whole argument is part of the ideological super structure, the bourgousie, if you muct use 19th century rehtoric, dont care if you all get mixed up in heated debates about whether Stalin or Lenin or anyone else was the man of the month a complete age ago, infact they are happy your not arguing about reform or self-managment because that really might spoil their day.

: Hank: But won't you admit some transitional problems between this capitalism and anarchy?

It really means what you mean by transitional problems, I think there will be an executive power even in anarchy but I dont think it will be a dictatorship and I wouldnt defend it with more vehemence than I would opposition to it.

:Aren't you interested in disentangling the propaganda you've been hearing your whole life?

I dont know what you mean by this I'm fairly good at detecting propaganda and rejecting partisan nonsense.

:What do you think's going to happen, we'll just have one big fight and then anarchy will be . . .uh . . .in power?

No, I think there will be years of preparation, a gradual cultural coup where unions, militias or community groups, that is organisations in which people directly participate, feature to a great extent, a period of reform, the existance of a vertual 'government in exile' which will subvert the conventional parliamentarianism, then a symbolic defeat of the bourgousie power through a general strike that incorporates all the traditional defenders of the status quo, congregation, community, army and police will all strike against the church, council, parliament and police station.

Then you have a popular administration that will work as a mitigating force between the social partners, communist councils, syndicates, political parties, in the process of a legislative and grass roots actions based on trial and error.

: Lark: Infact the whole argument is about as important to real change in peoples lives as whether or not creationism or darwinism is correct or whether or not there was a resurrection . . .

: Hank: I have a book recommendation for you, Lark. Have you read "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagel? Perhaps you have. If not, please do.

No, I havent but I'm sure as hell going to order it now, is it any good? I'm very interested in the gnostic gospels, I've read deeply into Kabalism, gnosticism, the gospels of Mary Magdelene, second Peter and Thomas and the Essenesian Communities and would be interested if it is a book of a similar nature.

: Lark: . . . important questions for sincere indivduals but they dont matter a damn to the free society, that is unless you dont want freedom you want your own personal sectarian authoritarianism with pictures of the icon of the month adorning every street corner.

: Hank: "How was your day, honey?" is sometimes the most important question in the universe. You're just telling Stoller to "shut up", something he says quite often, but it takes a lot less than your paragraph. It's the same meaning, though.

Well, he's put a lot of effort into ignoring me but ridiculing me as a matter of course in other posts, I'm only human, I will react but it's more than Stroller, it's the trotskyist time warp he so clearly represents.

: Lark: : Incidentially petty-bourgousie is a pernicious term used to label anyone who isnt bolshevik in the same manner the various churches label opponents or freethinkers heretics or heresy fifth collumnists.

: Hank: Perhaps it's become that, but you have to remember that each community has its own codes, and Leftist use it in this manner. Sure, 'petit-bourgeoisie' is a term of derision, but I'm sure that you use the same patterns of reasoning. If you were talking movies or music, you'd be calling them "commercial" as opposed to "authentic."

True but I would not employ rethoric as Barry does, as the Trotskyists do, to prevent debate or try to construe a purer than pure position.

: I'll offer my opinions here in these other arenas. James Taylor, Jackson Brown, and Disney movies are commercial. Van Morrison, Paul Brady and "Trainspotting" strike me as closer to authentic. Frank Zappa is cool, Michael Jackson is not.

Perhaps, I appreciate the funny social commmentry of shows like the 'Living Dead Trilogy' myself, what do you do when you find bands like Rage Against the Machine? Clearly commercial but struggling with themselves to develop an 'authentic' message?

: I understand meaning of "petit-bourgeoisie" to be people like merchants, shop-owners and professionals, mom-and-pop stores. They don't own the major capitalist enterprises, but they have a major stake in the maintenence of the capitalist system. In fact, sometimes they will be the most conservative of all as it's on them that "liberal" government reforms fall most heavily (e.g. safety standards, workers' healthcare.) These people are sometimes really rich. but they don't have as much influence on the day-to-day decisions in capitalism, becuae their ownership in industries is expressed in stocks or mutual funds.

Well, that would be the correct understanding of the term, I think it is dated.

: So, a petit-bourgeois is not going to be asking "How many people should the Gigantricon Corporation lay off next year, 2,500 or 5,000? When will that factory in Indonesia be ready to take up the slack?" The petit-bourgeois will get a call from his stock-broker saying, "I think the Gigantricon Corporation is going to do well next year. They've made some important changes, and they are going to increase their overseas production. I think you should invest in the George Washington's Testicles Fund, which invests heavily in Gigantricon."

: The petit-bourgeois says, "Yeah, okay." Then he goes to his shop through early morning traffic. He spills coffee on his new trousers. He unlocks the door for his three employees, saying "good-morning" to each of them, whom he considers like his friends. His first customer walks in and he says, "Hey, Jack. How's it going? Did you see 'Seinfeld' last night?"

That's funny, I like that amusing style in your posts.

: The petit-bourgeoisie will never create a revolution against capitalism. They're too busy working their way up it.

This is true and how many of the workers have been co-opted into the petit-bourgousie? I dont think I've ever met a worker who wasnt one, I myself dont blame workers who want wealth, I know I do because it will allow me to escape work and alienation and bossiness and get a bit of damn rest.

Class war has been replaced by class capitalist consensus, in one direction that is the war on the conditions of working people goes on, what I see as more crucial is the 'capitalism versus the environment and continued human survival conflict(infinite expanse with finite resources)' we all share a stake in that conflict.

I mean I know decent people who are very middle class, taking it that we never meet the real bourgousie in our day to day lives, they are not even the people like Gates but the money men and bakers who's jobs are intergenerationally inhereted the new fuedalists and the Masons, people who say their enamies is are not other middle class people or even the ruling class but the class system itself.

: Anyway, Lark, check out that book "The Gnostic Gospels." I think you'd like it.

I will check it out, I always like a good civil debate and your always good for that Hank, someday I hope to convince you of my non-partisan socialism.



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