- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Why abolish money?

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 22, 1999 at 11:58:06:

In Reply to: Because they want to. posted by Red Deathy on July 21, 1999 at 18:16:22:

: : 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: But the system will continue whether I contribute to it or not. I provit most if I take my share (or more!) from the system, while putting my efforts into personal gain. This is the optimal path for me to take (assuming some efficient NKVD types don't catch me!). The point is, each individuals optimal path is *not* to put effort into supporting the system. Perhaps you are correct that collectively we are better off if we support the system; that is another debate. But as individuals, our best bet is to take advantage of the free stuff socialism provides while working for our individual improvement.

: : 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.

Don: I fail to see why a socialist nation cannot trade with capitalist nations.

: 2:To access world trade would require entering into teh market with Capital, something we can't do if we have abolished money.

Don: Why abolish money? I do not see how this is required by socialism.

: 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: More likely they would out compete you economically and in quality of life, and your citizens would choose to leave for capitalist nations.

: : 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: What does "bound by the votes of their electors" mean?

: : 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: Three hours a day or something? This assumes that the required output can be achieved with this low level of input. You realize that if you fail to produce in sufficient quantity, the whole society *will* collapse. Factory work generally isn't fulfilling. The company can be good or bad, but given the choice I'll find my own company, thank you. Making factories into mansions requires a large investment up front (yes, even if you have abolished money). I don't want to work in a factory, even if it is a mansion.

: : 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 still fail to see why it must be global.

: : 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: I don't see how voting in the open removes the fact that there may be someone/thing to fear. It just means that person/thing, if it exists, knows how you voted.

: : 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: And if I am real smart, I'll figure out how to vote many times. Who makes sure the elected counter counted right? How big will this government grow?

: : 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: Actually, the US state seems to pander to the soccer moms. It sure doesn't pander to Microsoft.

: : 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: And small groups who wield power often negotiate with each other, paly various dirty tricks to obtain and maintain power, and a "accountable" to the people. Look at LBJ.

: : 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: And there are people who will decide no one should listen to load music, or drink beer, or smoke pot, or ride motorcycles, or whatever, because they are busybodies who want to control others. They may have to abide by the restrictions themselves, but they may not care about that. They just want to tell others they can't do this, or that.

: : 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: Why would I get involved in such work in the first place? Let's see: if I don' work with others, I can stop working and still recieve the fruits of socialism; but if I work with others I loose the fruits of socialism if I fail to follow through? Can you say "enticement not to work with others"?

: : 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: This describes Congress.

: : 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).

Don: Not everyone has the same power. Which is the point. But I do not agree that everyone's relationship to production and goods will be the same.

: : 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: I wouldn't say they won't. You don't really know. Whether I can be trusted is in fact irrelevent. The probability on one vote counting is very small on a global scale--which is to say I have virtually no power to do good or bad by voting as an individual. But the point is, the majority *still* can have a motive to do bad things to minorities or individuals. Even in pure democracy.

: : 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: State-capitalist is an oxymoron. Many different systems exist today. For the most part they do not "attack" each other, although they do compete. People natuarlly search out the best one, the one which most improves their lives.

: : 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: As an individual, I can gain by competition. I will not destroy the system by my actions along, so even if I benifit from socialism I can also benifit by spending my time and effort on personal gain. I can feed from both systems at once. No, if a critical mass of people follow this approach, socialism will fail. As individuals, they all have an enticement to follow this approach. The obvious reaction by socialist is the creation of some sort of seceret police to keep us all in line . . .

: : 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?


1. Work is the only means to relieve boredom?

2. Someone will have to be there with a gun to keep people from taking what they want.

3. The lack of money does not prevent my means of making a living being taken away.

: : 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: By removing incentive, you are removing the main reason for production.

: : 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: The poor I see look healthy and they are dressed better than I, or at least 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.

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

Don: Because these things improve my standard of living?

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

: Some 40 million Americans are without medical insurance.

Don: How many are denied needed medical care?

: : 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: We will vote and their will be officiers, so there will be a state. A seceret police will be needed to make sure people produce, etc. It may not be part of your plan, but it will result from your plan.

: : 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).

Don: No, these people don't want to work. They don't even keep up their front yard, go out for exersise, or have any other activities not involving drugs, beer, or sleeping in until 2 pm.

: : 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: How do you know that it will only take 3 hours of work per day? You don't even know how many will turn out for work? It seems clear to me that some people--those with special skills--would have to work long hard hours. A truck drive can't work three hours to make up for time took off by a machinest. Someone will have to tell some machinest to put in the extra time. Or else a sufficient quantity of a given product cannot be produced. I assume your system will evolve into having some seceret police type who will take care of that.

: : 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: A small local community, working more or less together to better itself. With little concearn for the large community.

: : 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: Each and every one would understand that he and his would profite by takeing advantage of the system while working outside of it.

: : 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.

Don: Any proof it will work?

: :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: So if none are being made, and others want them, there is a nich market. So I can make them, and in return I can get other things that the socialist system failes to provide.

: : 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: It does not fall apart if I take care of me, and damn the system. It only falls apart if a critical mass does the same thing. The point is, the system will fail or not, regardless of what I do. So why shouldn't I follow the best path for me? Everyone follows the best path for themselves as individuals. The socialist system will fail because of this.

: : 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: OK. At least I won't have to deal with NKVD types. I can just look after my best interests.

: : 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.

Don: Your in England? What work skills do you have? Maybe you should leave England behind and come to the US.

: :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.

Don: OK. I'm convinced it won't work. We can continue to argue this if you want.

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