- Capitalism and Alternatives -

machine breakers

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on April 15, 1999 at 13:06:31:

In Reply to: Combination vs Competition posted by andy g on April 15, 1999 at 11:32:06:

Whats needed for socialism to work is the agreeement of a vast majority of people to do away with the *ownership* of private property (and agree as to what that includes), to agree to the judgements of democratic votes even when that acts in the individuals disinterest, for some individuals to produce more than others and not seek additional reward (ie to replace material reward with a psychological reward - from ability to need etc) and to produce based upon others needs (and agree upon what these needs are, and whom is to benefit).

For the above requirements to be remotely feasible it is necessary for poeple to change enormously in the way they interact with themselves and with others. The most dangerous areas are in agreeing what property means and in agreeing what need is and who gains. In these decisions lie a plethora of opportunities for corruption and a collapse into despotism (either Stalinism or local tyrrany of the majority). Added to this is that each person tends to act for their best interest (whether that interest is their family, their friends, their next holiday, their sex life, their fave sports team, whatever) and will seek these interests regardless of whatever 'system' of politics exists. Black markets show how rules about alcohol etc dont stop people seeking their interests. Socialism cannot either. The interests would have to change or socialism would collapse invetably into a corrupt despotism.

For these reasons I dont think socialism "is great in theory but bad in practive", i think its more bad in practice because its wrong in principle. ie, it fails to understand the nature of humans. Im not saying 'people are rotten' like many socialist apologists do. People are not rotten. Seeking your personal interest is not 'rotten' by definition. I hope you would agree to that.

: This is where combination vs competition comes in. People who are against globilisation but not capitalism are basically 'machine breakers' (London's term). A machine breaker is a person who wants to destroy the things that make production easier, and faster, so as to be able to compete more 'fairly'.

Thats great, Im glad you understand that point. Govt intervention and 'cry to mommy' tactics by second rate companies who seek to have govt enforce 'machine breaker' laws reflect this attitude.

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