- Capitalism and Alternatives -

God, Individuals, and the state

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on October 08, 1999 at 13:51:17:

In Reply to: 10% Private? posted by Stoller on October 08, 1999 at 10:36:32:

: 'The mortgage that the peasant has on heavenly blessings guarantees the mortgage that the bourgeois has on peasant lands.'---Marx.

: : [I] would look for something more like 80% state owned, 20% private or 90% state owned, 10% private. I'm CERTAINLY not a Marxist, precisely because of the atheistic implications.

: Does belief in God negate class interests?

No. But it means that people can be molded into an altrusitic society. say what you will, I believe taht altruism and self-scarifice, on the part of thsoe who have wealth and power, is a necessary prerequisite to ever beuilidng a socialist society.

:God is certainly no elected official! Therefore, belief in God (supreme authority) is incompatible with democracy.

All right. but it's equally incompatible, in its pure form, with oligarchy and sdictatorship. When we say that 'all humans are equal', as I assuem we both agree, that begs the question 'equal with respect to what'? Towards teh end of thsi century, in spite of all the scientific evdinece that shows that humans are equal biologically, we have men like the infamous Charles Murray et al. who are winning people over to the opposite. Belief in God allows you to say taht we are all eual in teh sight of God, that by comaprison to God all differences among humans are utterly irrelevant, tehrefore no human has teh right to take power over otehrs. taht is a realistic absis for equality.

By the way, living ina democracy does not mean unlimited freedom. That's liberatrainaism and it's wrong. Living in a democracy, or in any civilized society, means that you have obligations to the otehr people in your society, that you are not free to go ahead and exloit whomever the hell you please. We are all responsible for each other. In a democracy, we are subordinate to a state whichw e elect ourselves.

Belief in God is like living with a parent. I for one am glad to have a n authority ruling over me, looking out for me, protecting me, etc. I do not have the pride in myself to assuem that I alomne can be my own master.

: And this business about 'just a little private ownership.' Who gets the tiny slice?

Small peasants, individual tradesmen who don't employ others, artists, intellectuals, scientific research labs, hermits, and others who either 1) depend on some small amount of individually owned property to make their living, sinec state wonership of whta they do would probably not allow them teh needed flexibility, or 2) those rugged individualists who can carry on their living in a quiet corner somewhere without introudcing exploitation into teh society.maybe I'm wrong, in which case i'll accept that full communsim can work.

: For that matter, who is the 'state'? Please define your terms in real---not heavenly---language!

The state is democratically elected by us. -

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