- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on August 28, 1999 at 10:26:40:

In Reply to: brazil posted by Gee on August 27, 1999 at 11:23:00:

: : SDF: Moral differences amount to more than your Favorite Law. And one can always trace "force" to some prior instigation, so the question of "who started it" can get muddled.

: With that view I can see why 'blame the system, blame mommy, blame the school, blame society...anything but me' is such a popular cry.

SDF: You like to blame "corruption"... and nobody is going to blame themselves, not even you. Stop complaining about something everyone does, since you're not going to offer systematic explanations.

: 'who started it' is relatively easy to evaluate when someone is raped for instance, blaming the rapists toilet training or somesuch, however much it may or may not have been a factor, does not undo the attack as being inititation, nor the 'victims' act as self defence if he/she were able to do so.

SDF: Rape might be an example, though we might be able to trace each incidence of rape back to childhood sexual abuse by parents.

: : SDF: The rich initiated force, you're defending them. All of America, for instance, is based on the European initiation of force, in stripping the "Indian" population of the customary rights they had over their land, and herding them into reservations after long marches in which most of them died. Then they sanctify this force with property, which you defend. Are you going to answer my question?

: Bomb current day germans because once many of them were evil, that is what you suggest with the above.
: Strip property from Americans (I assume you mean land, not the things they have developed upon it - microwaves dont grow on trees) now, because it was often taken by force, or without consultation with locals a few hundred years ago. Im sure you are responsible too, for that theft during 1132 in Europe somewhere, remember? Time to make up for it.

SDF: It's consistent with your principles, they "initiated force." Or are you blaming your principles on me?

: Hence the question is without meaning.

SDF: Your principles have a very limited and pedestrian meaning, that's what I was trying to say. Applying them as absolutes gets us into a gray area where we can't say "who started it."

: .... need to trust people not to be business frauds, since the motive for fraud would be removed.....

: All assumes an immense abundance. Assumed without evidence of its likelyhood.

SDF: No, it assumes that we can create a society where business fraud would lack a motive.

: : SDF: Since you've chopped off the previous post, I have to remind you of what I asked you to prove. You said that "peace is a fantasy." You've gone on to blather about something else.

: Nicely avoided.

SDF: Stop patting yourself on the back. It's you that's avoiding.

: I take that as an admition that when you 'prove' AC wont work its as dubious as any such predictive proof. Infact it is a theory of why it wouldnt work.

SDF: You said, "perpetual peace is a fantasy." If you don't want to prove it, fine. Challenging ME to prove something else is a dodge.

Anarcho-capitalism is already in place, in Somalia, in Russia. The idea that there would be "no government" and "no initiation of force" under some conceivable anarcho-capitalist regime won't work because there's too much profit in such entities, and capitalism BY DEFINITION is an assimilation of all motives to the profit motive, to the desire to acquire money, which is the generalization of all wealth in any society that operates according to a money system.

This is precisely why Russia is a regime run by a great number of Mafias competing to offer "protection services" in a capitalist system, it's why the CSIS TASK FORCE REPORT says (p. 26) that Russia is a "criminal-syndicalist state" where capitalism is "commerce without rules." Sounds like an anarcho-capitalist ideal to me, "commerce without rules."

: : SDF: I don't need ALL the food, just enough to survive.

: And if there are a million of you the scenario I painted stands true. If one little loaf is ok to steal then so are all of them.

SDF: There's enough food to feed everybody, global food production statistics bear out this conclusion. They also show that there are 800,000,000 malnourished people in the world. Private enterprise has shown itself to be unworthy of the task of feeding them all.

: : SDF: There is more than enough food for everybody.

: Your avoiding the principle. If its ok to steal in order to get things you consider needs then there is no end to what is ok to steal. Or would you introduce a set of objective limits?

SDF: Ah yes, the slippery slope. If we let people take bread for survival, my word, they'll steal anything! I am not recommending shoplifting as any solution, I simply point out that capitalism makes shoplifters of those who cannot be entrepreneurs. Fortunately, in the mixed economy, they can be welfare bums. Let me remind you that it is YOU and not ME that is endorsing the regime of private property and capitalism, with its attendant commodity fetishism. I do not think shoplifting is a solution to the problem of starvation, because it still leaves capitalism as it is, under which everyone is a commodity fetishist. Property stolen to insure the survival of homeless people is still "private property," the hoarding mentality still strives onward, each individual under capitalism is in a failed quest for economic control over a balance sheet, and over a system where all are dependent. The only solution is to learn to share fairly.

Why not guarantee everyone physical survival and a meaningful task to insure it, rather than leaving it all up to doctors with their Hippocratic Oaths and their emergency tables, or the relief workers of the Red Cross? "Give the civilized man a job which is his own unalienable property and which he can practice as he likes, when he likes, without taking orders from an unjust superior... -Charles Fourier

If you want to learn about Brazil, read Jeremy Seabrook's VICTIMS OF DEVELOPMENT.

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