- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, Uk ) on July 23, 1999 at 18:27:49:

In Reply to: Congress is a different case, because we *want* them to feel threatened posted by DonS on July 23, 1999 at 12:27:13:

: Don: But my contribution to the communal good would be infinitesimal. If I don't work for the communal good, no one will notice the difference. It doesn't really matter to the communal good if I work for it or not. My contribution would be 1 in how many million? In effect, I get the same back regardless of what I put in. On the other hand, if I work *outside* the system for the benifit of my family and myself, we will enjoy *all* of my "profits".

You gain everything you might ever want or need for free from the community.

: Don: But my small contribution to the system will only make it infinitesimally bigger. I can obtain a high return on work that I do for personal profit (say, keeping what I produce, or engaging in a black market).

Or will it, it depends on what your contribnution is. But you can probably have more, oeverall, through co-operative effort, than you could on your own.

: Working hard for global socialism simply means working hard . . .

But working for your own pleasure and enjoytment, mostly, and self-satisfaction.

: Don: If we were on a true gold standard, we would avoid major economic crises. It seems to me that money is in fact needed--prices provide feedback for demand, etc.

Crises happened when England was on a Gold standard, and money can only regulate effective not actual demand.

: Don: Does this mean delegates must go back to the electors if something new comes up that wasn't voted on? Do they have to go to the electors for every detail, or only the major points?

It depends on teh situation, sometimes they can be given freedom of their own cognissance, or sometimes they would have to go mback for fresh instructiuons, further debate.

: Don: Representatives who want to be reelected need to consider the voters. Further, they can be impeached if they exceed their constitutional limits.

80% of the British public support teh death penalty, it remains (thankfully) off teh statute books. Representatives only have to stay popular, they don't have to fulfill their manifestoes, nor obey teh will of their electors, control is tehre, but it is slight.

: Don: But I fail to see why any of these people would work for the good of world socialism. For the reason I pointed out prieviously: each individual's optimal solution is to work outside of socialism for his own benifit.

But production, because of the tech involved, is social, and working together produces much more goods than a similar number of people each working alone- you can mulitply your labour.

: Don: I think very few would choose to "empower creativity and skill" by working in a factory.

Or whatever a factory would become.

: Don: Congress is a different case, because we *want* them to feel threatened if they vote differently than their electors want.

i.e. we want to hold them accountable for their votes.

: Don: I don't believe that this can be accomplished.

Why not? Reason, or prejudice?

: Don: The potential for moving the power "up the latter" to the delagates exists. It is what I would expect to happen.

And people can easilly snatch it back again, and I doubt anyone would have an incentive to do so.

: Don: In the US, busybodies banned alcohol. It sounded like a good idea, and turned out to be a very bad one. Kind of like our current drug war. The point is, if you vote, what is to prevent a similar group from voting similar laws?

The fact that the values of the culture would be different, we'd need a culture of freedom to have socialism.

: Don: So everyone couldn't get together in a vote and create a law? Is there some law that says there can't be any laws? Even laws against murder? Rape?

Not on statute, and certainly no prisons to enforce them- however teh people who perpetrate such crimes would have to deal with teh stigma of their guilt, etc. Most crime woiuld disapear.

: Don: When you work together, it is often best to have a boss who coordinates things. There also needs to be enticement to keep people working together, as such work can be stressful, and often requires doing unpleasant things. I fail to see how socialism could address these problems.

Any necessary co-ordinatiors would be elected, the incentive would be that people want to do that sort of work, stress would be reduced to a minimum, as would unpleasant work.

: Don: It seems to me that delegates will either take on power, or they will have to put everything to a vote, making them basically useless.

Their function is to debate and share information between different groups.

: Don: But there must be distribution. Are you planning uniform distribution of all goods?

No, just big warehouses full of stuf to take.

: Will socialism provide all of the items capitalism currently provides?


: Don: If we can trust everyone, why do we need socialism?

Because capitalism is predicated upon mistrust.

: Don: Since the Soviets did not make a profit, I submit they were not state-capitalist.

They did make profits, which were expropriated by the 'Nomenklatura' and their lavish life styles of privellege.

: Don: I think the Soviets made a genuine effort towards socialism. I think they sould be considered a type of socialism, even if they had a different form than what you want . . .

I think some where genuine about their attempt, but Lenin himself said 'Capitalism will be a step forwards for russia'.

: Don: In fact, I think most societys are basically fascist. In fascism, the means of production is privitly owned and state regulated. True capitalism requires a true free market, and not many nations have this today.

I agree, surprisingly, with much of that thrust, I think fascism is creeping back into fashion.

: Don: I can obtain items the system doesn't provide. I can gain power. Influence.

If people need them, then it will prvoide them, if people don't need them, then no power nor influence will acrrue.

: Don: Instead of working at production for society, by working a producing for myself and my family. If I make a wigit and give it to the system, I don't benifit. If I make a wigit for my family and we keep it I do benifit.

But you can't make many widgits on your own, and to make them you'll need goods produced and supplied by others.

: Don: A return to capitalism will occur unless some sort of secert police evolve to keep everyone in line.

Or unless everyone decides to keep the system going.

: Don: But I can relieve boredom by doing work that I profit from. Making stuff for my family, not the system . . .

Yes, you could.

: Don: This assumes equal distribution of everything, and ignores that rape and murder will still occur.

No, Ia ssume unequal distribution, I except the sick and disabled to get more than I- according to needs, etc. Rape and murder, I contest, would be highkly rare.

: Don: There is a system allocating goods to the shelves.

Right, so they'd have to punish entire communioties to get at you,a nd meanwhile you go to a different town and get your stuff there.

: Don: I find this insufficient. Since my individual contribution is infinitesimal, 1 above makes no sense except in the abstract. 2 and 3 can be met by activities that do not benifit the socialist system, but are a direct benifit to me and mine.

Except thee and thine are the socialist system.

: Don: The poor often do this to themselves. For example, many innercity blacks view fellow blacks who do well in school as trying to be white.

Yes, that happens to, its a part of the problem.

: Don: I'm sure some people like them. The fact that they can enjoy them suggest a healthy society. Casper was from a comic book I used to read. I suspect kids buy these things because they like the comic. What is wrong with that?

We didn't have casper here, except teh film, teh stickers helped promote teh film, teh stickers wouldn't have sold without advertising.

: Don: My personal believe is based on the fact that I can't think of any other way to keep this system together. What are we going to do with those who murder and rape? Not all crimes are economic.

Most murders are, I would suggest that a change in famillial structures would alter gender relations and thus reduce incidence of rape, as for the rest, well, there would only be a tiny number of crimes then.

: Don: And I'm afraid that is what to happen to many of us under socialism. By the way, I went to school with some of the people I referred to above.

Happens, but these epopel would have worth, and meaning, under socialism, where they can go out and work if they want.

: Don: Using capitalism.

But we don't. Capitalism inhibits that, in-fact.

: Don: They would pay something if I provided something the system didn't.

Only if they needed it badly, in which case it would be made communally, if you try and charge for the AK's folks'ld probabluy decide to try and make them themselves as a wee project.

: Don: No! I won't make a difference one way or the other! That's the point!

But a million you'sa owuld make a difference, and you know that.

: Don: No, Because it doesn't make a difference if I work for the system or not. Except to me--I'm better off if I don't work for the system.

No, you're better off if you do, because more is produced, overall, and means you can have more.

: Don: I have to say, you still haven't answered why I should work for the system.

Because you are the system.

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