- Capitalism and Alternatives -

'reason' = ideology

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on September 10, 1999 at 17:39:46:

In Reply to: There is nothing more unfair than sharing everything equally posted by reason on September 10, 1999 at 11:08:58:

: : Does anyone actually believe that it is possible to have socialism without having the state?

: [No! and that is the problem with socialism - you must have a brutal dictator to enslave all citizens in order to make them work.

SDF: Giving people the choice of starving or working seems to be enough of a brutal dictator for many who live under capitalism.

I'm sure the Filipino women mentioned in Jeremy Seabrook's VICTIMS OF CAPITALISM who have no tillable land and who therefore must sell sexual favors to avoid starving are seen as completely "free" in their financial transactions, from the perspective behind the desks of well-off right-wing white male 1st world academics...

: It CANNOT function any other way! If you don't believe this then try to run a socialistic company and see how long it lasts.

SDF: This, of course, is a non-example of socialism. Run a "socialistic company" under conditions of capitalist competition? Huh?

On the other hand, many co-operative and worker-owned organizations seem to be doing just fine under capitalism, if they can get around the high failure rate for new businesses...

: There is nothing more unfair than sharing everything equally -- think about it!]

SDF: Therefore "reason" tells us that injustice should be perpetuated, since the "original state" of today's inequity is yesterday's theft.

: : Is it possible that anything but a powerful state could protect the people from the enslaving power of concentrated wealth?

: [No the state does the enslaving. The most productive wealthy give the unmotivated and those lacking creativity jobs. Yes there are lazy
: wealthy people who inherited their wealth and perhaps we should
: take some of it away from them,

SDF: Is "reason" conceding a point?

: but I cannot agree with the methods
: proposed here. ]

SDF: Instead, the world panders to the rich.

: : The concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is an inevitable result of human nature: those who are more materialistic and more predatory by nature will inevitably accumulate wealth,

: [No! It will generally be the more creative and useful people who will
: generate wealth.

SDF: 'Reason' is responding to a discussion of who accumulates wealth with a comment about who generates wealth. Workers generate wealth, owners accumulate it, there's no contradiction there...

: They will then ideally share their wealth with others in proportion to their usefulness and creativity

SDF: Or really, they will pay people for the market value of their labor, i.e. as little as possible, while crushing their attempts to unionize.

: -- just as it should be. They CANNOT accumulate wealth simply by being predatory! You make it sound like capitalism is identical to the Mob - That is unfair

SDF: Capitalism IS the Mob in Russia, read about Russian crime syndicates in your local library...

: and radically simplistic. You need to factor in law and order, etc., etc., etc.]

SDF: But, under capitalism, government is a commodity, for sale for the highest bidder. Note the $1.5 billion paid out by lobbyists last year (according to 60 Minutes) or the statistics on this page...

: : and they will use that wealth to change their environment, arranging things such that it is easier for them to accumulate more and harder for others to accumulate any;

: [This I partly agree with but Monopoly laws, etc are the way to deal with this problem. Removing all motivation for working is just plain stupid and will never work without a brutal dictator]

SDF: Actually, people work because they like to work, then later in life they are taught to hate work, by punitive authority figures when they're children, and again in later life by capitalists who offer them money for their work and starvation when they're not needed. If nobody enjoyed labor, schoolchildren would never do any homework, housewives would never do their chores, etc.

: : while those who are less materialistic and less predatory by nature will eventually end up becoming the property of their more avaricious neighbors.

: [No! They will be greatfull that a creative and motivated boss
: has given them a job.

SDF: First of all, bosses don't give jobs, business owners do. Secondly, it is this alternative possibility of destitution under the conditions of capitalism that produces worker gratefulness, just as starving one's pets will increase the likelihood that they will eat any sort of pet-food when one is filming one's pets to advertise pet-food for a television commercial. What the film shows, of course, is that pets love pet-food. The context of pet starvation, however, is what makes it possible.

: They are not up to the task of taking care of themselves in any other way.

SDF: Is this just prejudice against the working class? Give them the resources, and they'll be "up to the task of taking care of themselves" just fine.

(thread on "human nature" ignored)

: --
: McSpotlight: I do wish someone would actually define exactly what "human nature" is some day...

SDF: It's a cover-all term for one's pet ideology, something best avoided by all.

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