- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I've run out of drinks, you've run out of jokes and we've made no progress---so much for reforming each other

Posted by: Barry Stoller on March 03, 19100 at 11:52:07:

In Reply to: That's that, then. posted by MDG on March 02, 19100 at 18:10:59:

Stoller: And I insist that 'a desire for nonviolent change' in a regime where change is NOT POSSIBLE without revolution is worse than surrender---it is opportunism.

: And I insist that a nonviolent revolution is possible. I'm not talking pacifism, I'm talking nonviolence of the kind espoused by M. Gandhi.

Allow me to quote Abbie Hoffman:

While Gandi was in jail fasting, guerrillas blew up trains throughout India. When Martin Luther King, Jr., prayed, blacks rioted, and armed groups formed in the ghettos. Violence and the threat of violence have a good track record when it comes to changing the minds of people in power.(1)

Stoller: The middle class will always be an uncertain comrade in the cause of proletarian revolution (and rule).

: Always? That's a matter of opinion, isn't it?

Sorry, permit me to rephrase: the middle class, history has shown, has always been an uncertain comrade.

And history, equally, has shown no nonviolent revolutions.

: Suffice it to say that just as I don't know what goes on in the mind of a working-class person like yourself because I'm not working class, you don't know what's going on in my mind because you're not middle class.

Sorry, that's a feeble argument. Neither of us knows 'what's going on in the mind' of a capitalist or a corporal trained at the school of assassins---but we still reject their values. Why should the proletariat want to 'see the other story'? Would that in itself improve the conditions imposed upon the proletariat?

: I think you err in reducing everyone to only one characteristic: their class. People are more complicated than that.

Sure they are---but class is an infallible tool for seeing why proletarians create surplus for other classes while other classes give nothing back to proletarians. Please reconsider this line of reasoning... To retreat into the psychology of each class is to see only the symptom as the cause of the problem.

Stoller: You erroneously think that capitalism could evolve from feudalism.

: But it did, eventually.

That's absolutely NOT TRUE. First, there was the American Revolution to destroy feudalismís base and then there was the American Civil War to destroy what remained of it. There was nothing 'reformist' about either situation. Revolutions, like wars, occur ONLY because reforms are not possible.


1, Hoffman, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture, G.P. Putnamís Sons 1980. p. 83.

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