- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Sir Thomas More

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on June 12, 1999 at 13:05:05:

In Reply to: Tom O'Bedlam posted by Red Deathy on March 30, 1999 at 11:31:59:

: : No, I bloody well have the property now, and won't anymore if you have your way.

: Do you, do you own tehf actoeis? Do you own the fields? Do you actually own your house, or are you renting it from the Bank in the form of you mortgage?

I don’t own my house. I do own some personal effects. I have a bank account. Actually, I probably would profit rather well from a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. I just am too moral to take advantage of the opportunity. Something to do with a quaint old aversion to stealing, I suppose.

: : I guess he has been forgotten. "Those who do not study history ..."

: No, I know what Makhno was about, and our party ahs ahd to comdemn him often enough to oterh anarchists, etc.

Erm. My implication was that Mr. Makhno failed in his endeavor, not that he needed condemning. In any case, his next-door neighbors, the Bolsheviks, did enough damage to the old fellow and his “movement”.

I meant to imply that Mr. Makhno was a bit like Mr. Orwell – a very well-meaning, honest man, but too idealistic. However, if you happen to be on the side of Mr. Lenin, or (horrors) Mr. “Iron Man” Stalin, well…

: : We do. It's called the government. And it has limits, so that those "polite concerns" don't get out of hand, as they frequently do in socialist states.

: 'there has never been a Socialist State'.

… because every time one fails, it is “condemned” and (hopefully) forgotten. No dice, kemosabe.

: : Of course. But always, I think of myself as an individual. It is the Other that "mobs"; perhaps this is a legacy of the leftist term "the masses".

: T'other way round, actually, the left got it from ethr ight. Anyhow, exactly, but its always 'mobs' that behave irrationally, the Other who will be out of control, if you are a rational individual, and even in a mob you think of yourself as a reational individual, thena ll teh people in teh mob are rational individuals, and so...maybe, just maybe, under the right conditions, we could have a rational mass society.

Yes. Very good. It is called (you ready?) the free market. Capitalism, that is.

: : Why, then, do the rich steal? A man does not steal to alleviate poverty, he does it to get something he wants, and because he lacks the ethical restraint necessary to work for it.

: The rich steal through every pay packet. And our ethics are shaped by the way we live, live in poverty, and be treated as if you don't matter, then otehrs may just not matter much to you...

Really? Might you be able to arrange some bosses to ‘steal’ from me? This is the kind of theft I can deal with.

: : I think the police would be quite encumbered in your 'paradise', in any case, given the past reputation of this system.

: They'd be abolished.

Yes, of course they would. In favor of the “people’s friendly counsellors of communal good-will” or somesuch. A few initials, and the old gulags and work camps are back in business. Please.

: : Oh, of course. I own everything, and may use it, subject to public approval. I own what others "recognize" I own. Certainly.

: No, things will be there for free access, you take as much food from eth common store as you like, etc. As many clothes...

Why am I reminded of the raven from “Animal Farm”?

: : Why does this sound so similar to state capitalism? Hmm. Or as you would say, erm.

: Because you're building a straw man..very pretty tis, too.

Ahh. It is all in my head. How comforting.

: : But I thought I needed permission first, from the "others" ... This is sounding more and more fishy.

: No permission needed, except everyone's general agreement about where the goods will be kept, what will be produced, etc.

Why can’t that ‘will’ be conveyed through the medium of money, and via the convention of private ownership? Hmm?

: : In the practical application of this system, that 'conscience' frequently takes the form of the People's Revolutionary Tribunal. Are you ready for that Great Leap Forward?

: No, It doesn't require any formal mechanism at all, merely your friends knowing what you do well, and appreciating it.

Then putting you to the wheel, toiling away at that task. Of course, they won’t pay you. That would be … theft?

From each, according to his ability. More ability, more output. And if you feel like holding out on the people, well …

: : I meow. I purr. I am furry. I have claws on my paws. I am feline. I birth kittens. But ... I am not a cat. Really. I am actually something rather different. (Probably a tiger. Grrowl.)

: No, left wingers are reformists, or such ilk (including trotskyists) we are just socialists.

Uh huh.

: : Again with that "intention". Then, of course, no one "intends" to actively resist you. You have nothing to fear. D'Abbuisson is your friend.

: We have no plan to abolish industrial society, in fact our plans rather require it...

You’re right, they do. Unfortunately, the looting of industrial society that this plan relies on tends to choke it out of existance, as witness the old Soviet system (whoops … that wasn’t REALLY socialist, now, was it?)

: uh-huh, sucks down here, dunnit.

Yes, it does “suck” down here. And I’m beginning to realize who’s been doing all this “sucking”. Now, if it isn’t too much trouble – could you tell your friends to please desist? I believe I am beginning to become more than a bit cross.

Dr. Cruel

P.S. Sorry about the late reply – my access to the Internet is rather limited, nowadays.

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