- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Yeah, that's what you should do, you'd be more successful at that than debating

Posted by: Lark on March 03, 19100 at 13:38:47:

In Reply to: Taking out the trash (corrected) posted by Barry Stoller on March 03, 19100 at 11:54:05:

: Stoller: Your error is comparing a poor communism with a rich capitalism.

No my error is in thinking you could debate my talking alarm clock is more lucid and freethinking than you.

: But what IS 'socialism'? I'm talking about socialism as it has existed in the U.S.S.R., socialism as it occurred under immature productive development, socialism as it happened under terrible material circumstances---socialism as it occurred under real conditions.

You are still considering socialism as primarily an institutional framework, I am not, because capitalists, who have demonstrated markedly more success than you in getting their system realised, dont and I do not wish to ignore the tactics of the enamy.

: All you have EVER done is talk about a socialism that you invent each time you sit at your computer.


: I was demonstrating that the socialism of the U.S.S.R. should be compared to the capitalism of America ONLY if we align their histories contemporaneously, i.e. Soviet Union 1989 = America 1850. This core idea seems to have slipped by you entirely. You STILL attempt to compare Stalinist society with current Western society. That's promiscuous time traveling.

I compare freedom with unfreedom. Capitalism is not freedom but if it is organised in a liberal framework where people are guaranteed certain natural rights, freedom of speech, religion, organisation and association, it is not as terrible as the stalin-lenin thought police prison of the workers.

: An argument against majority rule---how commonly libertarian.

Is what you consider socialism devoid of a libertarian dimension? Are workers not deserving of liberty?

If you'd lived in Northern Ireland you perhaps would understand the difference between democracy and majoritarianism, where reactionary right wing 'Christian' Protestant fundamentalists can legislate for everything they choose in the most 'democratic' fashion.

:What about pollution where one set of freedoms must abrogate another set?

The individual and social freedoms correlate in this instance, the polluter has to understand that in the long term he's killing himself and his children as well as everyone else.

I'll ask you as regards majoritarianism, if you lived in a majoritarianist syndicalist order where marxism and trotskyism would result in execution would you be please to comply?


: Points from your other posts...

: : The idea of forced labour really does bother me, the fact that is doesnt bother you would suggest your some kind of proto-stalin.

: What society has EVER allowed people other than the aged and infirm to share in the produce of work without contributing anything? Only welfare (capitalist) states bribing the lower strata with the proceeds from imperialist profits have ever done this. Is that your idea of egalitarian society?

My idea of a socialist republic is one in which people who really dont want to work dont have to, as I've advocated before a citizens wage/allowance, Basic Income Scheme (BIS), Basic Income Guaranteed (BIG) scheme or the like would allow for this, I would link the payment of such 'wages' to National (or eventually international) community and environmental service until a psychology of honesty had developed and work had been transformed through empowerment, to something really preferable to idleness.

This infatuation with management and making others do things, isnt socialist, it may be bolshevik but it isnt really commited to the freedom of the producer. What do you want a social order with thousands of brainless, bossy managers?

: : Socialism isnt voluntary poverty...

: But I MOST DEFINITELY do not advocate a socialism of poverty.

I suppose that is why you attack everyone you disagree with with insinuations that they are middle class or privileged or may be keen on seeking privilege (to escape alienation)? What should we all do slum it to prove we are commited?

:That’s the task of the reactionary handicraft-production 'socialist' (such as Morris). Because I advocate abundant socialism, I advocate industrial socialism;

That's nonsense Morris's utopia couldn't exist without the abundance that allowed people to revert to that type of pace voluntarily.

:because I advocate industrial socialism, I also acknowledge the necessity of centralization and socialized labor, which precludes your libertarian panacea of 'liberty in the workplace.'

'Liberty in the workplace' incorporates a number of basic demands that would differentiate the socialist workplace form the capitalist one, including changes in social relations and empowerment of the working people engaged in production. If you oppose this then there really is no difference between the workplace under capitalism and your 'socialist' workplace, hence what you advocate is not socialism or socialist social relations but a hyper efficient system of production and exchange.

You dont actually advocate this because it's efficient either you simply advocate it because Lenin said so, 'for it is written'.

If you where commited to efficiency you would be more happy to allow for experimentation and trial and error, capitalists in Sweden in the 70's abandonded the system of centralism and authoritarianism you advocate because they found that workers where substantually more productive when empowered, happy and without interfering bosses.


: Note to anarchist 'socialists': If everyone worked only the job they wanted, then the social division of labor would retain (1) commodity (service) exchange between workers; (2) separation of mental and manual work; and (3) the distinction between country and city---in short, everything socialism wishes to mitigate or abolish.

Why does socialism wish to abolish these things? Unless it serves a useful social and humanist end I wouldnt suggest their abolition was anything other than a fixation or infatuation with some preconceived blue print.

Prefect equality doesnt equal socialism.


: Alienation: the coercion, direct or indirect, that first separates a worker from his personal means of production and then induces him to supply his labor-power to those who separated (and then owned) those means of production.

Or perhaps a better definition is required:

Alienation is:
1 Powerlessness
2 Meaninglessness
3 Normlessness
4 Isolation
5 Self-estrangement

(See Melvin Seeman, University of California, LA, 'on the meaning of alienation' American Sociological Review, 1959, Vol. 24, if your interested)

By all accounts barry you'd have us all suffering form all these in your Utopian Blue Print order.

: May I ask you to read chapter 32 of Marx’s Capital (volume one)?

Let me guess 'for it is written', preach to your congregation priest not me.

: Therein is the observation that, originally, the individual possessed his own means of production (individual labor owned individually---hence unalienated) which gradually evolved into capitalistic private property (socialized labor owned individually---hence alienated).

Hence the alienation would remain if the proprietors are one (the state) or many (the capitalists).

: Capitalism negated private ownership of the means of production through the rationalization, centralization and cooperation of labor. That is what produced the abundance to even consider such egalitarian ideas as socialism.

I think this process in incomplete, the, as you call them, means of production (I would call them sources of social and economic power) are not yet in the state of perfect monopoly or oligarchy.

: Marx only posited that from capitalism's individual ownership of socialized labor, society would choose to socially own its socialized labor. Hence the famous 'negation of the negation.'

So Marx was wrong, so what?

: However: returning to individual labor owned individually (Morris’ craft-production panacea) would only result in the poverty of precapitalist society. All labor is now interconnected---therefore all people are equally interconnected. Therefore: alienation is here to stay.

No it wouldnt, I might add that Marx's daughters and son in law where with Morris in his Socialist League and did disagree with him the way you do, isnt it just possible that they knew Marx's thought better than some burueacracy and power obssessed Russian in a backward agrarian society?

: Recall the Communist Manifesto:


: Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.(1)

I do believe that after the Paris Commune this is less important, if not void, Marx said the commune was the model for the future.

: All Marxist like myself want to do, acknowledging the interconnectedness and aliemation of (social) labor, is to regulate it so everyone gets some of the skilled work and some of the unskilled work and equal access to the produce of that work.

Therefore as Lenin put it: 'Socialism is a system of state capitalism that in serving the people ceases to be such' (some one of his collected works), I disagree with this changing the production levels and distribution is no guarantee of a change in the social relations, consequentially it's no guarantee of freedom.

: What you want is some form of individual ownership of the means of production (handicraft production) that history has made obsolete.

No ultimately I dont want any ownership, DA De Santillan, the Spanish Syndicalist economist who wrote 'after the revolution', attacked Spanish Syndicalists for creating a million proprietors or bosses where there had previously been one in the railway system and suggested that they realise that this was not a period of rapid reform but a social revolution and behave as though ownership was now definitatively social not merely plural.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup