- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on April 19, 1999 at 18:44:33:

In Reply to: Spooky. posted by Red Deathy on April 16, 1999 at 18:48:35:

: 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...

Companies arent looking for an excuse to sack people. if a 'protective' law is introduced which creates levels of expense that threaten the company's existence they must respond by cutting costs. Either by using inefficient machiens (ie ones whihc would *not* have been selected had labor costs not been artificially raised) or by changing direction/shrinking into a less labor intensive market. The govt, with its 'caring' labor laws continually shoots the worker in the foot then requests his vote (and usually gets it, bizarrely). Incidently when you hear a CEO boast about savings in labor you'll get good odds that the 'saving' was actually an exercise in avoiding artificial costs and did the company no good at all.

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

I never said it was easy, but if a small bus company can (and some do) 'raid' routes causing temporary price drops until the small company has to pull out - -they then go for another route and the same happens. the result is that the dominant bus company cant 'do what it likes' and that customers get (on average) low price. Unless you have to 'buy' routes from a council or some such nonsense. Then the dominant company can do what it likes.

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

They might.

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

Structured to protect individual activity from other peoples false claims (eg muggers)

: 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.

Not *lucky*. Bill Gates is an example of someone who perceived an emerging market before other people did (not luck) and had the ability to develop that market which others did not (not luck). Britains Richard Branson entered the music retail business - hardly emerging, anf made innovations in the way the business was run which others had neither perceived nor developed the ability to do. There are only 'less' opportunities now because people believe there are. Remember how many early 1900s folk said the car was a passing fad?

: 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?)

What about them? Ability is gauged by results, there can be no reward seperate from reality. No reward for a man who works *very* hard to plant seed at the wrong time in the wrong field. For such reqrd to exist it would have to be taken from those who were able, reality wont offer it.

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

Except that I was speaking in terms of interference by outside parties.

: 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.

Why cant they open businesses? because doing so results in a heap of red tape and taxes which make being a self employed plumber a nightmare when it should be starightforward. The latter suggestion you made is that welfare statism is a protection racket - paying off the potential rebels to stay calm, anf then gaining power on the back of increasing the pay offs. Morally wrong on both sides.

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

Yes, that is what made him smarter that a contemporary who didnt think of it. That sentence really surprised me Red, I cant believe you discount ability so readily.

: 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.

Youre assuming the money spent on rover would at best achieve the same resultsin pvte hands. What my argument was that if the money was left to private invstment - ie motivating by mkt potential not by politics it would be 10,000 jobs lost and 13,000 gained.

: 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.

If wages are down but std of living is up then how do you explain it? Its increased wealth in the form of labor savinbg technologies, medicies, communications etc. Think about what you can do with the same money as you could so then. decisions are still in pvte hands, except where a coercive force restricts them.

: 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.

They are precisely because they represent the interaction with society. It is these individuals who progress the society more (relative) than others. Where a society (even a subsociety) is open and learning more such individuals develop and create opportunities for more such individuals. The indidivual elelment is the 'vital ingredient' in a society, which can only be the result of interaction between individuals.

: 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.

Collectivity is only valid where interests are shared by individuals and co operation is by free association (and doesnt deny others their choice to associate either).

: 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.

Once it may have been held as a fact the the sun went round the earth, but it was *never* true. The above example is simply a question of ownership of you body and mind - 2/3rds of indiduvual rights.

: 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.

If the 1000 think it might poison them theyd better have some really superb evidence that it does. If so then they can 'vote' privately (1000 people, youre assuming commonality of purpose) can easily develop a strong legal case. It doesnt require the 'direct democratic' ownership of property. If a few people can so successfully take on McDs then 1000 can easily raise a case against a farmer,. even in todays corrupt legal environment.

Follow Ups:

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