- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, Uk ) on April 06, 1999 at 14:31:23:

In Reply to: Ah . . . but that's not my distinction. posted by Joel Jacobson on April 06, 1999 at 11:06:08:

Please note people, Joel neatly side-steps and ignores the substantive point about Synechdoche, he completely fails to even attempt to disprove that Capital Production is the most significant feature of our society, instead he retreats...

: Yes, I have used such . . . but watch. Just like words such as "IMF", "restroom", etc. "tribalism" is a social word used contextually in both informative and arguementative statements as they reflect the interactions of the mind with the social world of ideas, forms, etc. But make no mistake, there is no distinction of "tribalism" found in nature but rather of human beings dialoging together to find methods of socially discussing ideas. And this is where the difference lies. "Socialism" and "capitalism" are not part of the objective and social world of meaningful dialog and can only communicate the internal psychological states of the individual expressing them.

When J.L.Austen was first coming out with his speech act theory he focusse on such things as 'promising' 'asking', declaring', 'ordering' etc. He considered that factual declaratives were not a speech act at all, since they referred to the objective world. he was later to be convinced that even simple factual statements are inf act performatives, and are subject to the same sorts of Rules, etc. beloning to performativity (hence Lyotard's deployement of Austen for language as 'play').

Everything we say is a performative act, when we call a book a book, we are asking the other participants in our speech act (I reject the speaker/hearer distinction) to agree our declarative, where consensus, or agreement, have occured, meanings stabilise and settle down, there is no need to contest 'book', 'novel' is still up for contestation, and particularly more abstract nouns are inevitably unstable since we don't have a material referrent to fix the meaning.

this is teh dialectic of meaning, this is how new words enter into our consciousness, and how they gain their fixed meanings.

Further, tribalism is not all that fixed in its meanings, it can only arise from a system of difference, by referrence to otehr systems of society, we can only know tribalism through feudalism and nationalism, which since our society is non of teh above begs teh wquestion- what is it then?.

The entire thrust of your argument is 'the meaning of these words is contested, tehrefore we cannot use them' however, this is simply an obfuscatory device, a mystifying tool, because all words begin in this way, until their meaning settles. The whole point of the arguments here is to try and between the participants of this bard, fix the meaning of teh words we use
:This is why "borg" and "Cristoprotoclum" can describe "socialism" as both desireable and undesireable because in their own individual conceptions of the term they both are completely right . . . and completely wrong (this, by the way, is another example of Kant's antimonies).

But what they were doing was contesting each otehrs meanings, in an attempt to settle them. Likewise would use my social role as a Socialist Activist, and as a person with a knowledge of the history of the word, to suggest that I unserstand a particular meaning to the word- after all, that is the whole purpose of being a socialist.

: Terms like "socialism" and "capitalism", unlike "IMF" or "poverty", convey no socially meaningful ideas, and cannot be used to rationally discuss propositions, ideas, and theories. "Capitalism" and "socialism" are merely propagandistic terms used to bludgeon others about as "evil" or "anti-social" and not only add nothing of social relevance to a discussion, but are active hinderances to meaningful dialog.

Thats pure assertion. Time and again me and SDF have described what we consider 'Capitalism' to be- just as the Biggendians and Littleendians both understood what an egg was, but merely drew different values from its existence, so it is possible to describe what capitalism is. It is a society where production of capital predominates. IMF is a term fixed by authority, no one disputes its existence, many people accept that capitalism exists. Again, I would happily call it teh Market system to save all this argument...

: It should be obvious by now that I consider you, Lark, et al, as nothing more than neo-tribalists.

Surely thats a definition, and definitions merely point to more words, I dispute your term neo-tribalist, I don't recognise its meaning, tehrefore its anti-social and irrational for you to use it.

:I'm quite sure I could draw numerous similarities between your personal belief systems and hopes to the structure of ancient tribes . . . making a convincing case. But I do not make this claim as it would merely come from my personal viewpoint and not in keeping with the conventional and, thus, social use of the word "tribalism". Hey, it's been tempting to simply refer to you all continuously as "neo-tribalists" and stoop to the level of propaganda by using such terms as these, akin to "capitalism" and "socialism".

No, feel free to do so, and we'll refute your position where needed, and agree where we can. I would not consider myself a neo-tribalist, in as much as I want a world wide system of society, with no boundaries or borders, a single human society, if it shares features with tribalism, so much the better. But your notion that the term 'tribalism' is somehow distinct from 'Capitalism' or 'Socialism' is either simple assertion or a category error.

:By doing this I'd further gum up the arguement even further than it already is. So, I tie one hand behind my back and limit myself to socially relevant words such as "IMF" or "restroom" to make my arguments, as to use the world "tribalism" to describe your views would merely be a reflection of an internal, psychologcal state of my own. Thus, to ascribe "tribalism" to you would be anti-social on my part. In the same way, ascribing "capitalism" to me is anti-social as it merely conveys an internal, psychological state of your particular mind's making and, therefore, individually meaningful, but socially meaningless.

1:All language is social, my words do not belong to me, I get them from other people.
2: It is social to try and exchange meanings, and try and reach an undertsanding, over-come differences.
3:We could test your definitions of tribalism against empirical historical evidence, like you can test my definitions of capitalism, we can debate the matter scientifically.

: I never demanded your surrendur. Rather, I asked you to quit trying to set up your beliefs as based upon objective reality and admit that your "ought" stems totally from you particular mind's particular belief system.

My ought does, but my ought is derived from teh objective reality I see.

: EX1: "exploitation" is a term expressing (not arguing or informing) us of a particular internal episode; it is not part of social discourse

No, there are clearly defined social meanings of exploitation, it mean to use for gain, are workers used? Do employers utilise or exploit their workers for gain, in the same way they exploit a coal seam. As I said in all my answers, I always look back to material describable events.

: but, you set it up as objective reality through the M-C-M analysis which is nothing more than an extension of your particular mind's particular value system. Make not mistake, the M-C-M is neither informative nor arguementative.

No, it is very informative, if we say that the main practise of society is to make more money, that production is geared towards capital production, we are saying something very important about society, M-C-M says nothing about exploitation, thats a development of it, which can be contested, all i ask is that you recognise that the predominant form of production in our society, is that geared towards producing capital, making money. yes or no?

: MOST of your arguements, unfortunately, fall into the first (EX1) category. And as such we are beating our heads against a wall since you continue to insist that your value systems and beliefs are based upon objective reality.

No, I draw my valuesfrom conclusions based upon observations of material reality.

: Basically, I'm asking you to follow the same rules I put up for myself when arguing on this board: respect your opinions for the opinions they are, and nothing more. No one can ever prove their opinions are based upon reality.

Then we'd never be able to debate, we'd never habve a point of rdeference by which to disprove each other, and we'd fall into solipsistic nonsense
: Oh, and I appreicate the new addition to my vocabulary. It's not often that someone brings up a word I've never heard. But, I want to reiterate, and summarize my post, that my issue was not with using a synechdoche, as I admit I do it all the time, but rather the usage of wholly personal (expressive/communicative) words such as "socialism" and "capitalism". Let's start using social (informative/arguementative) words such as "IMF" or "relative poverty" (although the last one's iffy). Shall we?

But you neglected my Salient point- if we can describe capital production as the most significant feature of our society, then it is fair to call it capitalism. Otherwise we are left with a fragmented model of unrelated institutions, and lack a systemic analsysis (and you have acknoweldged that our society is a system).

Also, my terms are not wholly personal, theya re accepted in many accademic economic discourses. Now, answer teh question- Does Capital production, investing money and resources to make more money and resoruces, predominate in our society, if not, what does then?

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