- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Re: Yes it would.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 20, 1999 at 01:27:00:

In Reply to: Yes it would. posted by Red Deathy on July 19, 1999 at 19:45:07:

: : DonS: A socialist system without a government would never work. People will always work for their own interest, not for society. Socialism requires a government that can put a gun to your head and force you to work for *it*.

: No, because we can make personal intrest and social interest co-incide, specifically if we abolish money, and institute free accss to teh goods of society, self interest becomes ensuring the prservation of that system. Without money (therefore wages) work will be voluntary and freely chosen. No state is required.

(Don): I fail to see why abolishing money will increase voluntary work. It seems clear to me that money is a much better system than any barter system.

: Pace you otehr posts- state intervention doesn't equal socialism, socialism is the moneyless classly system of society, wherein the means of production are held in common,a nd democratically used to supply the needs of society.

(Don): Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production. State ownership is one form of "common ownership". I fail to see why socialism must be moneyless, democratic, or international.

: : DonS: No modern state is a democracy. In a true democracy, *every* citizen would have to vote on *every* decision. This can't work. Which is the reason we have never seen this system in a nation state.

: This is possible, if the basic unit is a small group (a workplace, a community), and wider votes ar rarer, full direct democratic control can be established. The tech is there.

(Don): Assuming "the tech is there", it still doesn't work, because there are to many issues to be decided for the majority to decide each and every one. If we delagate to some subgroup, we still end up with some defacto government. Who counts the votes? I prefer the minimal republican nation-state, with the capitalist economic system, myself.

: : DonS: The people are *not* the government in *any* modern state. We, the People, are *not* the government. The Founding Fathers of the United States (at least some of them) were smart enough to realize this, and that is why we have a Bill of Rights.

: In any current state, indeed, and teh difference is class- one class wields the state, the other cannot, we now have the means to abolish the state, and have dirct democracy- 'from the government of people to the administration of things'.

(Don): Some administrative class is still required, to count the votes, and enforce the decisions. Who decides what we will vote on? Will everyone vote on whatever their heart desires? Or will some authority decide what topic we will vote on? The former would be an administrative nightmare, since everyone will voice their own unique concearns. Someone would have to sort it out, and they would no doubt force their own outlook on the outcome. The latter suggests some controlling authority decideing what issues can be voted on--yet another way of determining the outcome.

(Don): However you look at it, your vision of socialist utopia is frought with serious problems. Even if true democratic representation is achieved, I'm not sure it would be such a great thing. You have heard of the tyranny of the masses, haven't you?

: : DonS: A system where the people *are* the government cannot exist in a nation state (in a village, yes). So your your vision of socialism cannot exist in a nation state or any large entity.

: It can exist world-wide (socialism means the end of the nation state), with smaller communities co-operating within a unifying economic system of mutual dependance.

(Don): How come it can exist world-wide but not in a nation-state? It seems to me the natural state of affairs is for the "smaller communities" to band into competative groups to gain an advantage. It is not at all clear why they should have an incentive to all work towards this socialist ideal . . .

: : DonS: In capitalism, the people are the consumers. They control the market by their consumption of products--by their choices. Capitalism is the only system consistant with individual choice and freedom.

: Except that people can only control by effective demand, teh rich have more votes- under socialism, the consumers have absolute control, because instead of producing for profits, society produces to meet its own needs. By abolishing the producers, the consumers will reign.

(Don): By abolishing the producers, all will starve.

(Don): Here in the US, it seems clear to me that the rich get rich by catering to the demands of the majority. I mean, for Christ sake, the movie industry is driven by teenage consumers. The majority of consumers are not rich. The rich minority may have a higher per capita impact, but the big cash cows are what the people want. Hence crappy TV, the light truck market, jetskies, minivans, ATCs, hunting stuff, and other low-brow stuff popular with us working class types.

: Capitalism contrains people to consume only as much as they ahve money in their pocket- socialism will do away with money, and have free access to the gods of society and free association and labour.

(Don): Have you heard of crdit cards?

(Don): If I have free access to goods, why should I work? And if I do decide to work for personal enjoyment, why do you think the things I produce would add value to your system? And if I decide to produce out of greed, why wouldn't I market my goods on a blackmarket capitalist system?

(Don): Right now, I have free association, unless you have some other definition for *that*. Free labor? Do you mean: no compensation for labor?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup