- Capitalism and Alternatives -

And why would these people produce free goods?

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 21, 1999 at 13:02:13:

In Reply to: No, it wouldn't. posted by Red Deathy on July 20, 1999 at 15:06:35:

: : (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.

: No, not Barter, free access, people produce goods, for free, which then anyone can take a share of, no money, no restrictions.

Don: And why would these people produce free goods? It sounds like the economic equivalent of pepetual motion machines . . .

: :I fail to see why socialism must be moneyless, democratic, or international.

: If its not democratic, its not social, if its not world-wide, its not social, if its not moneyless, it won't work.

Don: I fail to see why it would work globally. This does seems to be a good cop-out answer to explain why we have never seen it work in any nation state.

: : (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.

: Why not delegate to several subgroups, all of whom are recallable, all of whom meet in public and are open to public scrutiny, all appointments made democratically.

Don: Sort of a republican system. Like in the United States.

: People would vote on what efects them- so workers in one factory would vote on that factory and its conditions, people in a community would vote on teh prod8ce they need and teh work to be done, etc. Not every issue effects every person.

Don: And you think that people will CHOOSE to work in a factory. People work in factories because they get paid more for it. You will have to offer powerfull incentives.

Don: You are suggesting local control--essentially local governments. Why do you need it to be international in scope if it can work on the local level?

: :Who counts the votes? I prefer the minimal republican nation-state, with the capitalist economic system, myself.

: Elected delegates, and votes can be done by show of hands (secret ballot being a sign of tyranny), so everyone can see how many votes there are, or sonmething- fokllks have sufficient nouse to see these things through.

Don: I fail to see why seceret votes are a sign of tyranny.

Don: Voting by hand can work on a small scale. It will not work, even in a small city.

: : (Don): Some administrative class is still required, to count the votes, and enforce the decisions.

: No, not at all- is a capitalist elected to a municipal board anyless a capitalist? If people are elected into posistions, that are recallable, and have short time limits (I even would accept election by lottery- like Jury service, for some posistions) then they will not form a different class- their economic interest being the same as everyone elses.

Don: That was one idea in the creation of the US. It hasn't worked as well as we would like . . .

: :Who decides what we will vote on?

: Truye democracy means everyone can move for a vote- unions allready deal with this through 'Composites', where several branches put forward similar motions, which can be merged into one- it is possible to manage it.

Don: And of course, the people who decide to merge motions will wield considerable power . . .

: :Will everyone vote on whatever their heart desires?

: They'll vote on what effects them.

Don: Or like busy bodies today, things that effect others they want to control.

: : The former would be an administrative nightmare, since everyone will voice their own unique concearns.

: No, because most conserns will go to grass roots group meetings, and most concerns will be group concerns (work conditions, schedules, etc.).

Don: I thought we could work when we wanted, set our own schedules, do what we wanted, etc. You mean this stuff will be decided by some vote?

: :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.

: No, because the final matter comes to teh ballot, and all officers are removable.

Don: Even if "all officers are removable", they can still wield considerable power.

: As for tyranny of teh masses, thats a battle cry let out by the economic minority, whose interest lies in not being exproriated by the majority.- since thre wiould be no economic minorities (everyone sharing a class interest, no nations, etc. there would be no stable minorities, just differences of opinion.

Don: It seems to me that there still will be classes, and different economic layers. However, if you are right differences of opinion are sufficient for the majority to decided to send some minority into death camps or slavery or whatever.

: : (Don): How come it can exist world-wide but not in a nation-state?

: Because nations exist within a world-wide economy, so socialism will have to be a world-wide economy too.

Don: Why? Nations have existed with different economic systems--side by side. I see no reason socialism has to dominate the world in order to work. If it can work, it should be able to work in a nation state. If it works well, it would be a shinning example for the world to follow. My view is that socialism simply can't work, and its defender's argument is: it hasn't been tried yet and we can't try it untill it is worldwide and democratic and . . .

: :It seems to me the natural state of affairs is for the "smaller communities" to band into competative groups to gain an advantage.

: But since they're not competing, and tehre is no advantage to be gained, they won't.

Don: Just because you aren't competing with me does not mean I don't gain an advantage by competing with you!

: :It is not at all clear why they should have an incentive to all work towards this socialist ideal . . .

: Because its in their best interests, because otherwise free access ends, and their quality of life diminishes.

Don: So you are saying I have to *work* for my living? You need to inform a few people on this discussion board--they think work is going to be an option. So you need some NKVD types running around making sure no one is cheating the system? Maybe a few skulls will holes in the back as examples . . .

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

: I meant, production would be by the consumer, the split would end.

Don: I produce something and I am also a consumer. Already.

: : (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.

: And such things are well within their pocket, but devcent food, housing, clothing and medical care, is not in their pocket- nor can we forget the influence of the advertising industry in manufeacturing wants.

Don: Food, housing, and clothing costs are easily met by all the people I know. Driving through the bad parts of town, I can see that clothing and food costs are met by our poor as well.

Don: Things like light trucks, SUVs, and minivans add to the quality of life. People buy these things because of this, not because of some clever advertising campaign. Hell, I don't know anyone who buys because of advertising. The last car my wife and I bought was chosen based upon a number of reasons, including reviews and test drives. I bought a jeep because it had a solid front axle, a good I-6 engine and some other criteria. Ads had nothing to do with it. The fact that people can afford jet skies and ATCs mean they have disposable income and free time. It means society is healthy, and people are having a good time.

Don: Medical costs have been met by everyone I know. Costs are indeed high, due to programs like medicare and to lawsuits. Lawyers and socialists can ruin anything, it seems. Despite high costs, people meet their medical costs. And the current quality of medical care is excellent.

: : (Don): Have you heard of crdit cards?

: Same difference, then you are constrained by your credit rating.

Don: And you are always constrained by something. In your system the constraint would end up being the seceret police, no doubt.

: : (Don): If I have free access to goods, why should I work?

: 1:For pleasure.
: 2:For pride.

Don: I know a few people on welfare, and they don't work for any reason at all. A large number of people will not work for pleasure or pride; they will consume. Many who do work for pleasure will find their pleasure creating things of no real value to society. Assuming your NKVD does not go around putting bullets in the back of people's heads as an incentive to work . . .

: 3:For your freinds and familly.

Don: No doubt many would work to help their family--but not the greater society.

: 4:Because you know that you need to to ensure you keep getting things for free.

Don: So someone goes around making sure we all work? Or do you expect us to spy on our neighbors?

: :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?

: Well, the latetr is simple, free goods would undercut any price you cared to name, as for tehf ormer, you'd have to use your good sense for that.

Don: So you can say for certain that all desired goods will be produced in sufficient quantity and quality to meet everyone's needs? If this is not the case, then there is a place for a black market. I want an AK-47. Can I get a free AK-47 in this socialist society? Or do I have to revert to the black market.

Don: You still haven't explained why I should produce items of value to your society.

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

: No, because I can only work for capitalists, and once I have a job, I can't do anything to jeopordise it, or lose it, or move, easilly, to another, my freedom is contrained by my employer. I meant both no compensation, and that labour would be entirely voluntary, a free act, not the act of a wage-slave.

Don: I the above arguments at various places you indicated I had to be a productive member of society in order to "ensure getting things for free". Kinda sounds like I will be left to starve if I don't meet someone's standard of productivity. Kinda like being a *real* slave.

Don: I have a job. I work for a bunch of capitalists. I can leave my job when I want and get another one. It isn't hard. I've done it before. In your system, it sounds like I'll have one employer who will deny me access to goods if I don't measure up. I won't be able to quite, pack my bags, and find work elsewhere.

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