- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on June 06, 1999 at 18:26:07:

In Reply to: Continuing Gee... posted by Red Deathy on June 04, 1999 at 17:03:17:

: :The size of the saved capital is not important the principle is.

: Principle is irrelvent, I've said its not a moral issue, its a class issue, and the continuing exist of real and imaginary capitalists creates capitalism.

: : A small investor who buys an empty shop, then buys all the gear and supplies and then starts selling is presumably as 'evil' as any so called tycoon and would have only been 'good' if he had done no such thing - if he had not saved at all but frittered or refused his value.

: No, because the shop owner is working himself, he's petit-bourgeois, not quite up on the rungs to become a real capitalist. he's not exploiting the labour of others, per se. Its not a moral issue.

SDF: See, if we deny that our criticisms of capitalism are not mere attacks on "evil capitalists," Gee will just ignore us. See, according to Gee, everything is wrong if it doesn't repeat the so-called underlying philosophy of mankind, presumably a philosophy good for all times. We can argue all we want that our use of the "social logic of capitalism" applies only to historical and geographical situations that permit the unlimited accumulation of capital, and Gee will respond that this amounts to natural law. Principle, to Gee, is more important than reality, because, basically, Gee is an essentialist. Possessive individualism is supposed to apply to all human societies, from Homo Habilis to Wall Street to communist Kerala, in all places and all times. Communes are inherently a failure (despite their real-life longevities) because people are "inherently" possessive individualists. All human action, for Gee, is mere evidence of "personal goals," and the coordination of human actors to open and close possibilities is either something to be ignored, or the result of evil collectivists applying force. This is how it gets construed that little bicycle-riding nonviolent me is more of a threat to Gee than corporate gun dealers. Capitalists who apply force, on the other hand, are bad not because they oppress people, for indeed they stand for all that is good and true, but instead, as Gee himself said, because they make capitalism look bad. See, it's the principle that's important, and confronting Gee with depictions of how things are will only incite more avowals of principle.


: : Seriously, here is an idea - if you really find the idea of private owenrship and free trade so abhorant (and thats fine) then why not join one of the existant collectives or set up your own.

: I went through all this with Barry Stoller:
: 1:I don't have the money to do so.

SDF: I'm still waiting for Gee, successful capitalist as he is, to buy me a commune...

: 2:I rather like Lancaster, and want to go on living here.

SDF: Couldn't you start one there?

: 3:I would still have to live within and trade with the capitalist system (drugs spring to mind) or alternatively, live in miserable primitive penury.

SDF: Correct, you could use your commune as a socialist base of operations...

: 4:I would be not helping my fellow class members.

SDF: But, RD, wouldn't it be helping your fellow class members to allow them some communal "self-sufficiency" as against the predations of Monsanto, by growing one's own food, organic co-ops, etc?

: 5:I would be cutting myself off from them, and unable to agitate.

SDF: Isn't this an unnecessary stipulation? Can't you both have a commune and agitate at the same time?

: Communes smell of "I'm allright-jack-ism" to me...

: :b) waiting forever as a tiny minority for a global change that wont happen, are much worse.

: The difference being I think it will *have* to happen.

SDF: And precisely what will make it *have* to happen? If there are no real resource limitations, then capitalism can chew up the planet forever, and this explains why Gee is so busy defending shell-game arguments and argumentative fallacies...

: : Compare the basket now with the one 50 yrs ago. I presume you deny the figs on this released in the UK then?

: In the UK things are better, but Mexico, the US, South America, some are much worse off.

: : Fascist statism.

: Agreed, but I think more like a symptom of an excess of 'surplus population' and increasing restricted funds. Without teh food stamps those people would have *nothing*.

: : If that explains your only possible motivation to own anything other than basic needs then dont expect it be universally true.

: It even explains basic needs, not just excess. Your self is only defined in relation to an implicit gaze of an other.

: :Utilitarian arguments like that are very dubious. There is no way to demonstrate that only race drivers could gain utlity from a ferrari, its a presumption

: No, what use value has anyone else for a racing car? Its a matter of perceptual positions within a social/class productive system.

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