- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on April 16, 1999 at 18:48:35:

In Reply to: wobbly mirrors and conspiracies posted by Gee on April 16, 1999 at 17:47:35:

: A self serving company would not enjoy a government which imposes upon it a plethora of regulations, taxes and conditions as all western govts do. Ofcourse one might think of a few dark suited people ala x-files running the show and taking some damage to keep the populace happy. I dont.

Niether do i, however, I do think that the very richest people have more of a say in how our society is run, than do millions of voters, and its not by conspiracy, but by structure...

: I think company influence stretches only so far, as term limits on governments and voting (however bad, however unlimited the democracy is) inhibits runaway influence, and so does freedom of speech.

Direct influence, but structural influence (if you do this, I sack my workers, because I have to) and other more pervasive less visible effects, means money has a hell of a say in affairs...

: No, you can compete on routes, the same one if you want.

Not easily, limited road space, limitted number of routes, and an unfortunate dependancy on time tables, not a lot to choose in it.

: need?

Well, if they don't have a bus service, people who can't afford cars may be cut of from the rest of society...

: Precisely, and note than in America at that time, where govt (though corrupt, it was nothing like today) largely sought to protect only life, liberty, property is the structure in which such people best create wealth. Those advances in wealth (in rail, steel, oil etc) would hav been hugely inhibted had America started out under a state-socialist premise - wheer pursuit of self interest and private property were not accepted.

But that 'private interest' is a structural feature, it has nothing to do with the individuals, its structured individualism.

: Precisely why America was a great place for the 'rags to riches' lives. None of those hugely famous millionaires (carnegie, hill, vanderbilt, rockefeller) started with any more wealth than the average immigrant or 'working class' American. Note also that in many of those companies the 'workers' who were most able becasme part owners.

But that was in the days of a very much new and opening out industrial capitalism, now the system is much more established, there is less room for rags to riches, people are dependant upon emergent markets, and there can only ever be a tiny handful of such lucky people. Its not a way to run a system.

: If they werent constrained, nor were their peers.

So teh ones who pleased their boss more succeeded? what about teh ones who didn't like their boss, who didn't hit on a good idea at tehr ight time, who kept on trying, working hard and well, and getting no-where (or worse, working themself out of a job?)

: One thing, from reading such history, is that I doubt its as easy now. Not because 'the big boys' have us all over a barrell, but because starting your own business, aquiring stock, employing people is now such a complex and massively more expensive thing than it used to be.

Precsiely- declining rate of profit anyone? Increasing socialisation of production? Precisely my point all along...

:There are you barriers to the workign class. I might suggest cynically that the intention of 'welfare states' is to keep their welfare voters from freeing themselves and thus keep them in power. After all what soundbites would Clinton or Blair spout if the 'poor underpriviliged' that they adore (the votes of) so much started opening businesses, becoming self employed an no longer needing mommy or nanny state to 'care' for them. Gosh, ive gone all conspiracy theory.

But those people can't open businesses, more likely such people would riot and revolt, and that is a much better reason for the welfare state.

: What he did do is consider the relavent current knowledge and perceive what was previously not perceived.

But it doesn't make him any smarter, or better than his contemporaries who did not do so...

: I wasnt saying that the money wasted on rover would have otherwise resulted in a few shops, Im saying it may very likely have ended up invested in growing companies who would have employed, in sum, more than rover. What the govt did with rover (and in the US too, with some car companies) is pour fertilizer over a bad crop, thus depriving the good crops of the fertilizer they would have attacted had the money not had a political agenda.

But,as I was trying to point out, this is a schematised utilitarian account- 10,000 jobs klost at rover, 7,000 gained elsewhere, so overall only 3,000 people lose out, when in fact those 10,000 might not be the ones to get the new jobs, but will have been the ones to suffer a devastating collapse of their lives and ther community.

Propping it up does makie this worse in teh long run, but they're pretty fucking bad in the short as well.

: And many others now have jobs not even possible then. many others. and the std of living for a working man (hell, even a welfare man) has gone up (buy $100 worth of stuff now and compare to equivelent in 1973). what would you have? society held forever in stasis so as not to hurt anyone in that partical moment, whilst denying others their futures and choices? i cant imagine so.

Wages are down to the level (equivilent to inflation) of 1979, welfare has been all but abolished...etc. I'd have a society where the decisions for peoples lives lie in their own hands, not in the hands and interests of an employer and an insane market.

: (add a few genetics) - whats important is that the mind is distinct and unique to each person, and that it is specific to the individual, and belongs to them.

I never disputed that it was distinct and individual, but it is a product of its social environment, and cannot be distinguished from that environment.

: And you pass this off as a trifling point?? As a denial of the individual as the engine of creation?? That we stand on the shoulders of giants is testament to every indivual who took a step up, not a denial of that individuals importance in taking the step.

No, because it is a testament to entire societies that can produce such thinkers, to teh social systems, the Romantic creative Geius is not an isolated creator, he thinks in collaboration, in dialogue and dialectic with contemporaries, it is the product of a social effort, yes the individual eserves credit and reward, but they are not the motor force of our society.

: And you think that this means their individuality is somehow not real??? not specific and unique to them?? The same sentence above would make me think more in favor of individualism, not less.

I'm not denying people their individuality, I am saying though, that We only exist as part of society, and our interests lie in society, at present we produce socially, and some gain privately, because of property, as such they can fulfil their individuality, while it is denied many others in the sereid mass of workers. only collectively can we each live up to our full individuality.

: That is a fact. Deciding on what farmer jones can and cant do, if not based upon objective reality, is whim. It doesnt matter is a majority decides the earth doesnt go round the sun, it still will. It does matter if they decide farmer joe cant do this or that based on whim, because they can beat him up.

Once it was held as a fact that the sun went round the earth.

Why should farmer Jones have his whim, specifically if it effects other people.

But lets look at your argument, the village again: 10 people want to do something, say, commit rape upon all the other 1,000- what right have these 1,000 people to stop these individuals- simply, that it effects them,a nd theya re entitled to a say in what effects them, as individuals.

So, back to farmer Jones, he wants to use fertilizer, but the other 1,000 think it might poison them- any different from rape? No. The only way to see how all the people efected feel, is to ask them, this is commonly called a vote.

Farmer Jones doesn't lose out, because he wasn't going to make anything personally from using fertilizer anyhow.

You ask, why should 1,000 tell the ten what to do,? but in doing so, you are in effect advocating the 10 telling the 1,000 what to do. the only way to settle the matter, is a vote.

Follow Ups:

  • scary Gee si April 19 1999 (2)
    • BOO! Red Deathy Socialist Party Uk April 20 1999 (1)
      • hoo Gee si April 20 1999 (0)

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