- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Me doing all the trash work,you doing all the debating work; some 'socialism'!

Posted by: Barry Stoller on March 03, 19100 at 23:29:34:

In Reply to: 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:

Although your post was poor as expected, your post's title was most revealing. Me doing all the trash work, you doing all the debating. Is that your idea of 'socialism'? A personal 'utopia' perhaps? One in which the social division of labor, the separation between skilled and unskilled work, is rigidly determined (in your favor)?

Let us recall Plato's defense of the social division of labor:

[W]e must infer that all things are produced more plentifully and easily and of a better quality when one man does one thing which is natural to him and does it at the right time, and leaves other things.(1)

Which led, logically enough, to the conclusion:

There will be discovered to be some natures who ought to study philosophy and to be leaders in the State; and others who are not born to be philosophers, and are meant to be followers rather than leaders.(2)

Why do I mention Plato? Only because YOU are on record supporting him.

I'm sure you would cheer a 'socialism' in which high school graduates, like myself, did all the trash work while college boys, like yourself, did all the debating work. That would explain your persistent opposition to the idea of job rotation. There’s just one problem with the social division of labor, however, that 'socialists' might like to consider:

It is therefore the law of the division of labor which lies at the root of the division of classes.(3)

: 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 is consistent with your principle that you’d rather be 'gainfully unemployed / unemployable.' Tell me, you clever shirker, how your proposed welfare 'wages' are to be produced if work was optional? If everyone shared your 'principle' to be 'gainfully unemployed / unemployable,' where in god's name will all the food, heat, shelter, and MTV come from?

Stoller: 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?

Social division of labor = classes. Classes = exploitation.

: '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.

A 'number of basic demands.' Great. WHAT are those demands?

And once you begin to spell out all this complicated stuff, what's to then stop me from calling you a 'blueprint utopian' as you so love to call me?

Stoller: 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.

And what, pray tell, will MAKE the polluter 'understand' what you want him / her to understand? A good debate? If that's your suggestion, then you've got a long way to go with the likes of Frenchy, Doc Cruel, etc. Hell, you're the worst debater this room has ever hosted.



1. Plato's Republic, Jowett Translation, Modern Library Edition, p. 61.

2. Ibid., p. 204.

3. Engels, Anti-Dühring, International n.d., p. 316, emphasis added.

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