- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I'll leaf that one alone

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 09, 1999 at 12:24:20:

In Reply to: a leaf on the breeze? posted by Gee on July 08, 1999 at 12:49:06:

: : SDF: Because representative democracy gives everyone (not just those with money) a vote and thus a LIMITED say in the affairs of government, and because government-as-it-is is sworn to protect everybody, again not just those with money.

: I am glad you recognise that one vote in a hundred million is indeed a limited say, limited to the point of utter impotence I would suggest.

SDF: And ruling others in a junta or an oligarchy is a much less limited "say." The fact remains, that democratic organization grants everyone a say in the organization, whereas Free-Archy represents a limitation on that say by restricting it to those with the ability to pay, just as it was restricted in the budding democracies of the 18th century (in the United States for instance.)

: Made especially impotent by the fact that the choice is terribly limited. If you think consumer choice is bad then political choice is incredibly poor. In the US the two largest parties

SDF: There are also many non-partisan elections, political primaries, and ballot initiatives. Limiting one's consideration to partisan elections is wilful ignorance of the diversity of democratic processes. The Green Party, for its part, is in the business of promoting local non-partisan elections per its belief in decentralization. The point, as I've pointed out before, is a comparative point, not an absolute declaration of political ideals: Given a limited choice, representative democracy represents a safer way of resolving political problems than its limitation by the forces of money, and Free-archy represents a limitation of democracy by money.

: are just different shades of statism - the democrats wanting to run your life and the republicans promising the same but boasting they can do it cheaper.

SDF: Both of which, for almost everyone in US society, do not hold a candle to the power of bosses and landlords to "run your life." It's clear, thought, that part of the anarcho-capitalist rhetorical repertoire is a melodramatic exaggeration of the threat of statism, combined with an exaggerated (and fallacious on many points) notion of statism as essentially "different" from the transaction of capitalist business as usual.

: The various other parties being minute and prone to 'whats the point' lethargy among the understandibly dissilusioned populace. Each politician and each party represents a package deal of policies of which some might seem welcome and others awful to each different voter. And all the time the voter knows that his impact on the final outcome is so minimal that it suprises me when people moan that people are apathetic - its rational for them to be apathetic!

SDF: A more apposite explanation is that Americans recognize that the state has minimal power in the US when compared to the system of corporate capitalism that rules in the US, since the state is the handmaiden of the abovementioned system. So it's no wonder that people are more concerned with their status with the latter, and "apathetic" about their role in the former. Me, I'm not doing much work with the Greens these days, because I'm busy looking for a better job.

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