- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Then go find your warranty

Posted by: Quincunx on April 21, 1999 at 12:26:50:

In Reply to: You broke my courtesy meter! posted by Winslow Wacker on April 15, 1999 at 16:07:24:

: : I'll see if we can get back to debating about individualism if Winslow can answer my previous postings word-for-word. Or SDF's last posting for that matter.

: Debate SDF? Sure. Debate you?

Qx: Yeah, debate me. If you can.

WW: Why should I when I'm having so much fun making you angry.

Qx: You are? Geez, send me fax when you know for sure.

WW: You are second rate compared to SDF.

Qx: Ahhh...here we go with the heirarchical references. I guess my feeling are hurt. Could have fooled me into believing that you were an individualist.

WW: The "slagging match" started a while back, remember? You called me a "wanker" and you weren't invited.

Qx: The "slagging match" started before I even posted. If you didn't happen to notice your own postings. Now if you are so mad about being called a "wanker" why even post here and ask if we talk about sports as you did down below. Besides, you can't invite or uninvite anybody here.

WW: You replied to my insult with an insult - fair enough. Property rights? Please.

Qx: And this guy states I wasn't even invited but finds the idea of property rights to be irrelevent. A bit contradictory if I say so myself.

WW: I just wanted to know why you got more upset than he did.

Qx: Oh, I did? Thanks for the psychic assistance Winslow.

WW:Are you a member of his fan club?

Qx: I didn't even know he had a fan club so that's irrelevent too.

: : WW: He was holding his own and showing more courtesy than yourself,

: : Qx: Well, if you can hold your own then answer his last posting since you never really answered to my response. By the way, have you got a courtesy-meter? I didn't think so.

WW: I'll answer him on my own time thank you.

Qx: Good for you. I know you can answer intelligently but I have a feeling that you're a fake somewhere along the way.

: : WW: although he seems to want to grasp at the "white frat boy" smear also.

: : Qx: It's hardly a smear but merely a speculation. You can always say yes or no to that one. Did't you notice that you have rational choices?

WW: A soap-box stab at knowing - a weak, speculative, smear.

Qx: Oh, come on now and quit the straw men. Please?

: : WW: Typical "leftists" - using pre-packaged labels to attack anyone who doesn't agree with their positions.

: : Qx: Always? I have to say that the term "leftists" is a pretty wide brush. Is it possible that you're using this as a convenient catch-all term?

WW: Always? No - just typical. Possible - yes, just like "frat boy".

Qx: Then by your own logic you're using a "A soap-box stab at knowing - a weak, speculative, smear." In all actuality I used the word "frat house" and never called you a frat boy. That's your imagination at work.

: : WW: Read my recent posts to Fassbinder

: : Qx: Oh, I have.

WW: So what? ;)

Qx: So you ask me to read your recent posts to Fassbinder and when I state that I have you again trivialize this by stating "So what? ;)". Now that's surely a sign of unwillingness to even try to discuss issues.

(skipping obscurities)

WW: Rush Limbaugh? All of this for a "so what"?

Qx: There you go again. Trying to trivialize your own insulting manner by throwing it on me.

WW: It's a good thing I didn't call SDF a "wanker" or I suppose you would hunt me down and kill me.

Qx(not seriously):That would be called "wabbit hunting".

WW: Seriously, you don't like "so what"? Tough shit!

Qx: Oh dear, this ones especially abusive isn't he? Maybe the entire discourse is a big "so what".

WW: Besides, if you recall, I never disagreed with SDF's point - the hypocrisy of "individualism" as ruling class ideology - my point is that calling the ruling class and it's ideologues "hypocrites" may get you an audience on campus, but it don't add up to jack shit in the struggle against capital.

Qx: Actually, it does make a difference but that may not be so apparent to you. First of all, there was such a program once called "Americanism" and this has been since transformed into a platform with a notion of "individualism". By talking to people and letting them know that history is what has been written down and the past is what happened we can traverse a gap of knowledge about the evolution of American political ideology. That is how ideas are discussed. I can't see how the power of discourse can ever be effectively trivialized. Whatever social changes have taken hold have always started from small groups whether it be in a living room or a campus lecture hall.

In order to understand capitalism people have to talk about it and if one focuses on U.S. labor history then there's a whole can of worms to be inspected. People don't like to examine the evolution of labor-management relations if they're coming from a right-wing philosophy but it does make a difference in the struggle against capital. After all, if it didn't then why would you even discuss the issue at all? The decline of U.S. economic dominance, the rise of international competition, accelerating capital mobility, and slow economic growth eroded unionsí bargaining power. The restriction of workersí legal right to organize and strike, the growth of non-union industries, declining public support for unions, and a broad cultural emphasis on individualism and consumerism rather than community and participation contributed to organized laborís decline as well. That is why discussing individualism is important. By stating that this "it don't add up to jack shit in the struggle against capital." is hardly an answer and reveals a lack of understanding the role that human discourse has in changing human society.

"With the abolition of private property, then we shall have true, beautiful, individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things and the symbols of things. One will live.To live in the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all."- Oscar Wilde.

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