- Capitalism and Alternatives -

hard days work?

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, UK ) on March 31, 1999 at 12:28:51:

In Reply to: The Myth of the Commons and Other Tragedies posted by Joel Jacobson on March 30, 1999 at 12:20:13:

Wow, he calls for a truce, and then a million posts....

: But, they are comparing apples and oranges. While we might, indeed, refer to property in bygone centuries and millenia as "commons" we are simply imposing our particular vantage upon history. Yes, compared to current conventions, where single individuals or small groups own property, the past might look from our particular viewpoint as "commons". What that idealized view simply ignores is that, while one person did not own property, regardless of the label we use, one hundred specific people (or whatever the size of the particular tribe) still owned any property we might examine. And so, given the particular "commons" references made by the self-titled "socialists" here simply bear no relation to anything in history.
Correct, you see, this is my point about socialism havving never existed, it is a new form of society, my points about teh commons of the past, merely serves to show the 'co-operative' features of past societies, and that competition and individualism is not the norm throughout human history. In a future society common ownership will mean no exclusive ownership.

: Whatever you want to call your future dream of "common ownership" is irrelevant. This dream bears no relation to any situation in the history of mankind and any claims of such is not only idealist, in my opinion it is intellectually dishonest, given the evidence.

No, because the productive forces were not present in history for socialism, nor were the networks of production, capitalism and industrialism has increased mutual interdependance, production as been socialised, on a world wide scale- the plan is to complete this socialisation, and have world-wide common property, with the networks of production and mutual dependance preventing tribalism.

: Which brings us to the idea of "compromise". An idea that Deathy has proclaimed is the answer to the "crises" of the human race;
Erm, no, comprimise was my suggested sollution to any problems faced under socialism regarding rpodutcion, comprimise has anotehr name- democracy....

: Okay, now we've found a huge flaw in this sort of "democratic" mutualism. How can I have intimately-held settlements involving all members of the human race, simultaneiously? I can't.

You can, you can depend upon the networks of production taht stretch all over the world- as you do now. Where you cannto personally negotiate, you do so indirectly through delegates and representatives. So we have direct democracy on a local level, and indirect democracy on a world wide level. It happens now, but without the democracy bit.

: It's not a matter of wanting the best for the human race and my fellow human beings but, rather, not even possessing the ability for such. Two things come to mind: centralized planning ala USSR (which you have already rejected); dividing the human race into smaller democratic units with the individuals in each unit collectively owning their particluar allotment.

Niether, geographically based communes, which merely represent the coming together of the lcoal people, with no claim to property or title, within a world-wide network of communication and production. whever people are required to work upon the amterial world, they do so democratically- so where they live and eat they do so, and where they work they do so, the only things they 'own' are the things they use- they do not deny use to other people of things they aren't using, nor do they use this denial to extract money from them.

: Congradulations, Deathy, you've just recreated ancient tribalism.

I ahven't, because these would not be tribes, just people living together, people would have to move, interact, exchange ideas and stories with one another, people might go to opposite sides of the earth, or stay in one place forever. And even if, say, one commune lived over a salt mine, they would not horde the salt, nor try to exchange it for benefit, it is freely available to all...

:Generalization of custom and acknowledgement of individual spheres of influence, such as personal property, provided those with massive different value systems and beliefs to interact without resorting to violence and force.

Actually it was the advent of class.

: Regardless of any intellectual machinations we only compromise with those whom we are capable of compromising with (duh). And these are people with whom we have personal knowledge and share values and social interaction. Such people can only comprise a minute fraction of the human race. I cannot compromise with someone when I do not know what they want. There is no possible way to do this; it is not a matter of desire to do so but ability. The only possible way to do this is to divide, arbitrarily, society into small tribal units and give them specific lots. But all you've done is re-invent ancient tribalism and you still have private ownership as those outside these units expressly do not have ownership of property within the tribe

No, because you will share the values of a specific relationship, and specifically, a mutual dependancy. The democratic and social organisation of the people would be around the productive process itself, and the need to maintain social networks.

: a) a world of hierarchical tribalism with its communal form of private property (the true and, in my opinion, awful manifestation of anarchism and mutualism).
: b) a world where there is absolutely no way of interacting with our fellow human beings as we can only compromise with those whom we have intimate knowledge of (i.e. pure chaos, which is not anarchy).
: c) Stalinist Sovietism in all its radiant glory (ha ha ha).

d)Single world of free interaction, and a world wide productive process and mutual dependance, that would bring about specific relationships of production.

: The very term "commons" is a verbal sleight-of-hand that says one thing and then very smoothly slips the phrase over to an entirely and completely unrelated situation. No, Deathy, et al, if you wish to have universal common ownership then you'll have to demonstrate how such can be had across the myriad of cultures containing individuals who do not know each other and haven't the faintesst conception how the other lives, thinks, or feels (i.e. you'll have to become a wizard of immense powers over us all).

Simple: the productive system, and indirect democracy, I don't know any people in america personally, but I still interact with them succesffully, nor do I personally know people in Uganda, but I interact with them.

: Finally, you'll have to confront taht in the end all values are governed by opinion and cannot be derived from mere observation of facts. Your advocation of the changes you describe are impositions of your particular mind's value systems upon the rest of us. What's sad is that I'm quite certain as individuals you all really do care about people.

And where do opinions come from? I have no wish to impose this system on anyone, you are free to accept or reject my ideas.

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