- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Because they want to.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on July 21, 1999 at 18:16:22:

In Reply to: And why would these people produce free goods? posted by DonS on July 21, 1999 at 13:02:13:

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

Because they understand that free access to goods is dependant upon the continuation of the system, and that they want to see the best life for them and theirs.

: 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.

1:We are part of a Global economy, we cannot function at our current levels of living without access to world trade.
2:To access world trade would require entering into teh market with Capital, something we can't do if we have abolished money.
3:If we fall behind in tech, or generally disband our state, capitalists states would invade,a nd use force to gain access to our resources.

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

Except the presidency wouldn't exist, and and the Senate and Congress would be delegates, not representatives- bound by the votes of their electors.

: 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.

That the work there is fulfilling, the company good, the surroundings nice (William Morris makes an excellent point- a factory supplies the wealth for the capitalist's manion, lets turn our factories into mansions), that its enjoyable, and it needs doing, and its only three hours a day or something.

: 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?

Because it must be economically world wide, some things would be beyond the scope of a local group, and some things would effect millions of people, but the decision making porocess would begin locally, and expand from there.

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

Because, if I am hiding how I vote, it means I fear someone/thing, rather than having the confidence to state my opinion openly.

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

Indeed, but then we use tech from there, with counters elected by lottery, who knows.

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

Ah, but the US has class, and therein is the difference, the US state (which isn't direct democracy, which was rejected for various reasons, though some supported it), at the moment the US state serves the wealthy capitalist class, they have all the money, and dminate pollitcal life, representatives are proffessionals, etc.

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

But will be publically accountable, recallable, and will not 'decide' but have to negotiate with the proposers.

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

I think a basic principle of democracy is you what you vote for, you carry out- you vote for war- you go fight it. Don't vote for otehrs to do things.

: 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?

No, but where your work involves working with others, you've got to agree aong each other, and when otehrs have asked, say, the Tractor factory for anotehr ten, you;'ve got to decide if its feasible, etc.

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

Yes, indeed, but they are elected, known to their communities, and know they can't arbitrarlly decide- certainly they cannot 'rule'.

: Don: It seems to me that there still will be classes, and different economic layers.

How, everyone has equal access to the goods, everyones economic relationship to production is the same (for instance, a farmer would no longer have to watch his interest in terms of sales, his interest is ensuring that lots of food is produced).

: 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.

But they could do that now, they could always do that, the fact is people won't, people have to operate with responsibility and conscience- do you trust yourself not to order people into death camps?

: Don: Why? Nations have existed with different economic systems--side by side.

No, usually one economic system attacks the other, capitalism sought to destroy feudalism. And I re-iterate, russia was not socialist, it was state-capitalist. And see above.

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

How do you gain advantae? You lose out in teh end, because it returns things to capitalism that way, and you lose free access to everyone elses goods.

: Don: So you are saying I have to *work* for my living?

No, but you'll get bored if you don't. You, and everyone else will know that the community needs to have work done,. otherwise it all falls apart- after that, its up to you. After all, who can stop you taking what you want, who's gonna cut off your living if tehre is no money, etc?

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

No, but at one point (i.e. when you sell you have a different interest from consumers, by removing that interest (profit), we produce directly for needs.

: 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.

Are they dressed well? Or do their clothes mark them as 'poor'? They certainly don't eat as well as the well off, nor live as long, nor as halthilly.

: 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.

They may not buy teh product because of advertising per se, but unconsciously and culturally, advertising does encourage consumption- oterhwise why do it?

: Don: Medical costs have been met by everyone I know.

Some 40 million Americans are without medical insurance.

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

What secret police/ I've allready said tehre would be no state- so who's running them- the sole constraint would be the means/goods held by the community.

: Don: I know a few people on welfare, and they don't work for any reason at all.

because most jobs now are shite, there is no personal reward in them, and work is effectively done under compulsion (threat of poverty).

: 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.

because much unnecessary work would be dropped, we could meet societies needs on a three hour day, and the rest given over to fun- I think most eople could accept that. Again, lay offteh secret police crap, thats a figment of your imagination- I prefer to argue with people who take on my points, instead of constructing some straw man version of my argument to take on.

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

And friends, their friends being the local community. i'd work for my mates, but sure as bugger wouldn't work for my cousin Ian.

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

No, not at all, its left to consience, plus folks as know you would harp on as they do now. but each and everyone would undrstand that the system needs to be maintained.

: Don: So you can say for certain that all desired goods will be produced in sufficient quantity and quality to meet everyone's needs?

Thats the idea.

: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.

You could get an AK-47, if you can find any being made.

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

For pleasure, for your own needs, for your friends and familly, and to keep on having free things available, without work, the system falls apart, and you know it.

: 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.

Ah, no, you misunderstand, if you don't work, and people in general don't work, then the system falls apart, people stop working for free, and will revert back to money or equivilents, because things become scarce. There would be no-one watching you and preventing you from taking your needs, upn until teh point of collapse.

: 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.
Not round ehre, mate, 24% unemployement, I leave a job i'll have a hard time getting a new one.

: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.

No, you'll have no employer, and no denial of access, and you can leave a job and do another anytime you want.

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