- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Weak answer...

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on March 22, 1999 at 13:16:40:

In Reply to: An answer for the week posted by Joel Jacobson on March 22, 1999 at 11:37:38:

: The "abolishment of money and the nation-state" in one fell swoop as proposed by many here is simply a mystical flight of fancy. Actions such as these would spark immediate dissolution of even a pretence for behaving with even a modicum of certainty or continuity.

Erm, no, because we would still have teh networks of production and interaction, on a world wide scale, taht would holfd society together. Further, capitalism came in one fell swoo in britain, and in France, and In Russia, and is itself only teh latest stage in that thousands of years of development...

: The forces taht you speak of are tied to the realm of politics. Ya might want to do some brushing up on the subject of rent-extraction relating to the manner in which politicians basically extort contributions and other such considerations (called rents) from producers in order to abstain from screwing them legislatively. Your whole post seems tied to the gross misunderstanding of Marx's regarding the nature of social structures and institutions. He thought that republican government was merely the manner in which the bourgousie managed their class affairs. But such rent-seeking is obviously and demonstrably at odds with this theory.

No, not really, although it may hurt individual capitalists, as a class it is necessary, because they need to secure teh markets, enforcecontrol over teh working class, etc.

According to Marx, the state is the alienated apparatus of the ruling class, that is it must giove the appearance of being neutral, classless, and above all society- semi-automatous (as the Evil Althusser would say).

It is also a product of division of labour within the class, the state being intelectual labour, which is divorced from teh material processess of production, and it is not far removed from teh eighteenth century system of patronage (from whence it sprang), except that it has lost its direct character in roder to present itself as state.

It is a necessary evil, and one that works against individual capitalists sometimes, for teh better functioning of the system as a whole...

: As philosophers have said "the law that all swans are white is disproven by even one instance of a black swan". In the same manner, the "law of the classes" is disproven by even one instance where the supposed "class interest" cannot explain the underlying social dynamics.

I never said it was law, one Black Swann would not disprove the tendancy for swans to be white, rather it would confirm it. Likwise one capitalists intere4sts do not disprove the tendancy of capitalists interests moving in a certain way.

: Rent-seeking is just one such example where "the law of class interest" simply does not contribute to meaningful analysis.

Actually, rentiers are technically a different class, one that capital doesn't like (throw backs to aristocracy, etc.). But I don't ever recall talking about 'Law of class interest'.

: I could probably draw some elaborate conclusion from the consumption of some randomly chosen commodity and then extrapolate a vague trend from it. But it would be as meaningless as is the naive classification of social classes based merely upon the "wage relation".

Except that the wage relation is fundamental to most people's lives. We have no wages, we have no homes. Simple little syllogism.

: The foundationalist insanity of the materialist dialetic quickly leads us down the road to nihilism.

Erm, well proven, this is a total non sequiter...

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