- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on March 23, 1999 at 13:41:20:

In Reply to: Kentukey Fried Chicken posted by Joel Jacobson on March 23, 1999 at 11:10:10:

: No, because these networks of production are not what holds society together. That's one of the failures of historical materialism. It's a new form of animism where the holder of this belief actually thinks something other than human beings are responsible for the customs, beliefs and values held in the present.

Erm, networks of production are human interactions- Humans, in order to work togetgher in a specific way, and satisfy their needs, develop relations of production. Production is teh means of sustaining and reproducing a society. Humans develop values to fit the way they ineract in the world.

: Only based upon your definitions. Your whole conception of the "system of capitalism" is made up solely in your mind. You are going around labeling something based on an observance of questionable relevance (i.e. "the wage relation") and then drawing inferences between situations that have almost nothing similar. I made this exact point in "The Critique of Definitionism" which was lost and posted as someone else's post This is where idealism=materialism.

Erm, look, Capitalism is the investment of money in production to make more money- now, can we agree that the Industrial Revolution took place in the 18th C.? because that is teh birthplace of Industrial Capitalism. My observations are based on relations of production, and finding similarities and systems- Richard Arkwrights invention of the factory system (do you accept the existence of a factory system?) has survived as a part of a social formation, as one example. Further, Historical materialism is exactly a means of linking consciousness with the material world.

: Did you read what I posted? What you define as "the capitalist class" would overall be better off without such rent extraction. You're idealizing here.

No, as a class they wouldn't be, because they need to ensure themselves against the working class, against one of their fellows gaining undue pre-ordinance over the others, to Guarantee teh reality (interesting history that word) of their money. It also allows them to develop necessary infrastructure, without on of their rivals seizing control of it, and extracting rent in the same way (roads for example). There are otehr uses for the state, which means tehy ahve to put up with it- but I am sure taht they do not like rent extraction.

: And given current Public Choice Theory analysis this is simply untrue, a blatant falsehood.

It could have helped if you'd have said why, I'm afraid I've never read any Public Choice theory.

: Again, completely idealistic or materialistic; not that there's a real difference. See above.

You do believe in the division of labour don't you?

: Wrong. See above.

You've said nothing above. Except wrong.

: Well, Marx and Hegel certainly posited 'laws of historical development' as did Compte, Mill and a host of other historicists. A tendency is not a law. So, as you a Marxist or no?

Yes, I think there are laws of Historical Development, but I don't think there is a Law of Class. For instance I beleive in the Law of No Profit No Production, which is teh achilles heel of capitalism.

: Rent-seeking is where one party uses resources to transfer resources to themselves from another party. Overall, the first party might gain but the class, as a whole, loses, which is completely at odds with your concept taht one capitalist might have to suffer in order to further the class interest as a whole. And, no "law of class interest"? Then maybe you're not a Marxist. Post-Marx socialism? This is good.

No *LAW* I do think tehre are class interests. Also, as I said, rentierism becomes a different class inetrest, which is, incidentally, why capitalists delpoyed the state to break the Rentiers backs. Where teh state is the Rentier, the class as a whole canbview it as teh lesser of two evils.

: And for the capitalist: we pay no wages, we have no products. Simple little syllogism. And of about the same overall relevance as yours. They both simply ignore all the myriad rules and customs existing in society and giving it structure and life.

Yes, they pay no wages, we suffer extreme poverty, they have large reserves to fall back on, we come crawling to them for work. I am not 'ignoring' other factors, however, the need to find wage labourers, and the need to sell labour, are the two fundamental movements of our society that determine class.

: No. Because of the abject intellectual poverty of historical materialism, as a theory, its proponents constantly have a flawed and idealized manner of social analysis. "Social classes" simply do not follow merely from "the wage relation" and, thus, those who appropriate the label "socialist" for themselves are trying to change society with highly inaccurate information; their views contain massive flaws. Becuase of the poverty of the historical dialectic, and the subsequent failures it creates, frustration with and abandonment of reason leads straight to nihilism.

Right, but you didn't say this before- we're not mind readers Joel, you can't just assert your arguments and think we understasnd what you mean...

Social classes flow from a relation to the means of production, which leads to the wage relation (and I think this is where you are getting confused). they own the means of production, we don't, that is the difference, from that springs teh wage relation, which then determines numerous other relations and modes of consciousness.

: It's kinda what happened after Kant. The idealists, instead of learning the lesson that deductive reasoning was useless without experience simply gave up reasoning at all. In the same way, when "reason" doesn't give "socialists" what they want they simply turn from reason.

I have never turned away from reason thank you. you do, regularly, by deploying obfuscatory tactics, simply denying that an object exists, or teh possibility of examination.

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