- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The US was right about Malaysia

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( Eviction Free Zone, MA, USA ) on March 22, 1999 at 11:50:41:

In Reply to: I think you're talking about democracy posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on March 19, 1999 at 18:06:29:

: SDF: I would disagree, and argue that what you're talking about is democracy, not capitalism. Democracy gives people the vote; capitalism separates them into social classes. There are plenty of capitalist dictatorships out there; they don't "allow change to occur through the action and opinions of (their) own citizens," just witness what's going on today in Malaysia or Indonesia.

Indonesia was an clsoe US ally right up until Suharto fell, but America to its credit took a strong moral line on Malaysia. malaysia, incidentally, is run by an old-line eugenicist who believes that Malays need affirmative action only because they're less smart than Chinese. Vice President Gore was right when he criticized Mahathir Mohammed and encouraged Malaysians to oppose him.

: Also, if you study carefully Red Deathy's posts, you can see that what he's talking about is democratic control of the means of production, i.e. democracy. But he calls it "socialism" and deems it exclusive of the capitalist system.

: : Have people been killed, imprisoned, or censored along the way? You bet, no argument here, but really, do we truly think any govermental system implemented won't have it's atrocities? it's lapses? or it's misgivings?

: SDF: I really hope the above sentence isn't a defense of the status of the United States as the self-proclaimed defender of global capitalism, also as the world's largest penal colony. If America is great, it is for other reasons.

See above.

: : The best we can hope for is a system that allows for some form of self-determination, learns from it's mistakes, and be done with it.

: SDF: Again, when you specify "governmental system," I think you're talking about democracy. Sure, capitalism today, with the predominance of corporations, is a system where the government "gives the store away" to corporations, but people like Gee are talking about something else, fantastic as it may sound... remember you're responding to a thread on anarcho-capitalism...

Actually, while reform is good, it may not be sufficient. Witness the slow destruction of the welfare state in America and of social democracy in much of Europe. Social reform, it would seem, cannot persist in the long term without substantial popular control over the economy.

: : There will never be a classes society, simply because our nature won't allow it. Your neighboor won't allow it and your co-workers won't allow it.

: SDF: First of all, this is completely unsupported propaganda for a capitalist system. My co-workers won't "allow" a society where they work together as equals? How do you know? Do you know my co-workers? Seondly, I believe I've addressed this question here. "Human behavior is malleable, capable of being manipulated by circumstances, and how this is useful to us should be our proper object of concern."

He doesn't actually need to know your co-workers personally, if he's making a macroscopic, statistical statement. "Human nature" does exist, but whether it supports capitalism is extremely dubious; primitive-communist societies seem more "natural" in many ways than the bourgeois west. Certainly while selfishness may or may not be part of human nature, property is not, it's a social invention mainatined by arbitrary distinctions.

By the way, SDF, there was a girl named Fassbinder who won a Westinghouse Science Prize or something, I think in Iowa somewhere. Any relation?

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