- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some notes

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on April 14, 1999 at 10:56:50:

In Reply to: And you? posted by Red Deathy on April 13, 1999 at 19:01:56:

: : The 'crisis' in in the usurpation of the individual by the collective, whether that collective is a quasi democracy influenced by competition for favor between interest groups (including businesses) or an outright totalitarianism.

SDF: Perhaps this "crisis" is in some individuals' foolishly-considered failure to join collectives, thus losing out on the advantages of collectives.

: However, that 'usurpation' is found in the general self movement of capitalism, all the super-high tech machinery, all the mergers, all the growing total interdependance, means that the individual of the old small holder capitalist owner-producer artisan days are dead and gone, all that is left is finding a place in a vast machine, and if we don't take charge of the machine, we'll never get any individuality back.

SDF: I'm not sure I agree entirely -- but I DO think that any attempt to break away from the machine will necessarily involve creating another form of communism.

: : Big business is not, by definition, the problem. The fact that some multinationals are interacting with governments in a way which has nothing to do with free association and free trade is indicative of the crisis of the reliance on force in place of reasoning.

: No, big business is indeed not the problem, it is that the markets have ran out of progressive power, and are now a hinderance.

: : The majority of political arguments are about which form of collectivity to reside under, which tyranny to tolerate, which democracy gives which people the most power over otehrs. the alternatice is to erode the power of one person over another. If I am and idealist it is not in the idyllic scenario (people working for pride n pleasure etc) that you, Red, describe - but in such a manner that is sustainable, that acknowledges the nature of man as specific.

SDF: I'm surprised that RD did not notice Gee's use of the word "sustainable," in light of Gee's previous support of the "the most growth is sustainable" position outlined here. It would seem to me that if we all worked for pleasure, we would be growing as fully as we can grow. But anyway: what precisely is "sustainable" supposed to mean as it is given in the above sentence?

: And I acknowledge man as specific, as well, however, I feel that until we have collective control, and full democracy, many people cannot utilise nor realise their individuality. Humans are social animals, and any solution to the crisis of self-hood must be a social solution.

SDF: Perhaps, RD, we should elaborate on the difference between the lot of present day humanity and that of Daniel Defoe's character Robinson Crusoe, the ultimate economic individual, indeed the analytic model for the laissez-faire classical economist, as Marx pointed out several times.

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