- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, UK ) on May 20, 1999 at 18:52:20:

In Reply to: trying to find a happy ending posted by Gee on May 20, 1999 at 01:42:06:

: A dubious feedback loop at best. The amount ordered could remain high, whilst more 'needy' products are pushed out. Imagine a luxury repeatedly ordered by 50% of the population against a medicine more needed by the other 50%. The order feedback loop would need to be scrutinized daily and such 'imabalances' duly debated and 'rectified' (which could mean left alone if sufficient votes go that way) likewise.

hardly daily, and the things open for debate would be the placing of orders itself, people would debate what to order, and then order it, it wouldn't be a simple market affair- specifically the people managing the home hardware stores would note how many lampshades were needed, and report back to the town commune council, etc. People would have to chose their priorities.

: The problem with a democratic ordering system is that its as open to the well meaning abuses (eg "lets have more fireplaces built - even though it means less resources for housing) or malicious abuses (eg an influential minority ordering more of one thing without caring what that will do to others, and creating a rift)

No, because stable minorities, groups, etc. are based on differing economic interests, if everyone has the same economic interest, i.e. are all of the same (non) class, then such groups would be eliminated, or at least they would alter from issue to issue.

: This might change nothing.

Its a social system, people don't like being called wanker.

: Business can, must and do change what they produce precisely because they face failure. I imagnienmany a lampshade factory has chnaged production to curtians. This is a more powerful feedback loop.

That assumes a competition void, usually all markets have competitors, and market saturation occurs on more than one market- hence a crisis of overproduction occurs.

: The problem being that they dont face failure in the short term, that their existence doesnt bear direct relation to their effort. In the lampshade example the commune might not change until alot of resource is wasted, in the malicious musisican (try saying that when youre drunk!) example they might not care to understand.

Then teh commune would fail, but I suspect that people are rational enough to see beyond their immediate short term gain- have you been talking to Barry Stoller recently? ;)

: Their self interest cannot be decided by others, its what they decide - even if its demonstrably objectively not in their self interest - they still decide themselves. And they might not get bored.

This analysis depend on people being wankers, theyb would be living in a culture, which would mean that their perceptions and expectations would be geared in such a way as to simply see working for the commune as natural 'trading for bits of paper- how silly' I hope to hear one day from a small child...

: In other words a community can suffer from partial or full breakdown in unity following even mildly disruptive drains on their capacity and produce.

It would only happen in emergency cases, where one person was a serious drain,a nd a threat to the commune, usually I doubt that anyone would withold because of x being lazy.

Imagine, topically enough, a cricket match- I place a fielder at mid-off (I'm capiatin, you understand), he does nothing all game, barely needs to move an inch, not one ball comes near him- is he lazy, unnecessary, could we have won without him there- we don't know, perhaps if he hadn't of been there, balls would have raced to the boundary in that direction all the time. Who's to say what is or isn't more valuable as a job.

: The breakdown you say must be avoided is, in my strong opinion, not really avoidable precisely because peoples goals are so diverse, and their self interest is up to them, its unrealistic to expect their chosen self interest to intersect with their demonstrable 'objective' self interest throughout each community member.

No, because their self-interests are culturally determinate, they live and experience self through community, and so culture would be the method that keeps it going. When I pointed out market failures to joel, he fell back on culture, cheating really since anracho-capitalism seeks to replace culture with the pure market, I don't hedge on the market, I reckon culture can do it.

: People are ready for many things they dont want. People are ready for capitalo-anarchisto-individualitio-friendly-charitable-niceism (i think i mentioned that i dont really like the moniker 'anarcho-capitalism') but clearly insufficient numbers want that to happen.

Well, its my job to try and show possibilities, and show how its possible...zs

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