- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Utopias perform a very, very important component of any ideology, they inspire and motivate

Posted by: Lark on October 11, 1999 at 13:02:27:

In Reply to: history is always made by struggle. posted by andy on October 10, 1999 at 17:49:31:

: We think some people should be less pontificating and more organised in struggle. Yes I'm pretty happy to be "locked into this whole puesdo-marxist critic of capitalism" and so are my comrades.

: Using the marxist method and studying the history of such things as oppression, we find that history is always made by struggle.

Using the Marxist religion you mean. Proudhon wrote to Marx let us not become leaders of a new church/religion, even if it is one of rationalism and justice, so well history was definitely someones judge there.

: So we find it hard to take seriously anyone who isn't testing their ideas out on the street, at every upsurge against the evils of this society.

Are you suggesting I'm not?

: > "how do you fight against pre-capitalist or post capitalist oppression?"

: If you'd been out on the streets, you'd already have some answers by now - we've worked some stuff out over the last 30 years we could always let you in on ...

Have you been to Cuba or China and seen the Marxist society in operation? It's pretty oppressive you know.

: (from a recent post by Lark)

: > What is required is a Citizens wage paid by the authorities
: > to every citizen, as close as possible to, if not equal to the
: > average workers income and totally tax free, additional income
: > would be taxed at a flat rate of about 50% until introduction
: > costs can be diminished etc. Labour is now decommodified and if
: > you can't get a job you'll be alright and if you dont want to
: > work, which SHOULD BE YOUR RIGHT, you don't have to.

: Where do I start ? Well, firstly I would sincerely hope that no-one believes in utopias. You can't just go around saying "I reckon we should do things this way" if it doesn't bear some semblance to the possibility of it occurring in reality and not just some idea someone thought of. Unless you plan on becoming a dictator that is.

Utopias perform a very, very important component of any ideology, they inspire and motivate, aswell as providing a blueprint as to what would be preferable to the existing order for debate. I think for a Marxist you havent read much of Marcuse otherwise you'd know that this attacks on "Utopians" is all nonsense to prevent debate, it is the one dimensional thought of a society that doesnt even realise it's orthodoxy.

: Notwithstanding the uptopianism of it all, Lark's struggle for change only extends to a fight for a welfare right - "the average workers income". Does this mean that you like this society if only there was no poor?

Well once my moderate aims are satisfied I'll tell you about my other aims, the welfare rights you scoff at are actually a full scale decommodification of labour, fufilling the claims of Liberalism, Marxism whatever to make work voluntary.

: > Why Marxism? I hope Marxism is dead for good.

: Gee lets just throw analysis out the window then! What alternative view of describing the plight of humanity do you propose in stead of a class analysis?

Class analysis? You believe it is intrinsically connected to Marxism then? What about Class War Anarchism, left libertarianism, Left Minarchy, left liberalism etc. etc.

Besides the significance of class is shrinking of the political map.

: Marxists want to get rid of bourgeois society, that is to say, class society. Does Lark want to get rid of bourgeois society? Of course. Is Lark a bit confused then? Probably.

I'm not confused and who specifically are "Bourgeois society" a myth? A legend? The enamy is within each and everyone of us, it is an inclination, the significance of class and class war havent changed but they arent as significant as they once where, they poorest of the poor will defend to the death capitalism because it gives the chance that one day they wont be poor they'll be rich, is the poor man then Bourgeois?!

: The point that Dehno completely misses is that capitalist society sufferes crises of OVER-production. It's already the case that technology is advanced enough for it to be possible for basic economic problems to pale into insignificance.

I'm not so sure about that, your connected to the post-inductrial enthusiasum for perpetual growth. What do you propose infinitely expanding economies with finite resources?

: What have the capitalists been forced to do to counter this crisis of over-production? Hello planned obsolescence! And don't forget the production of totally useless crap just to keep the economy growing. Also don't forget the crap comes complete with the packaged, 30-second lie that is the TV advertisement urging you to consume.

I like much of that crap, I dont want to live in a nation where the primary produce are cabbage or something.

: We should want to completely get rid of bourgeois society - at its heart is utter inhumanity: competition.

Right now your thinking, social organisation and which is preferable.

: Socialism, in a word - cooperation, will mean a return to the very activity that began the construction of human beings in the first place. The use of tools, the development of intelligence benefits of increased hand-eye coordination, the working together in clans to increase chance of survival, the whole darn time-consuming evolving thing that finally ended up as the human being.

: The commodification of humanity has hastened the effects of alienated labour in terms of lonliness and separation (at least the serfs didn't have to deal with suburbia) - no wonder the violent & depressed soceity.

Commodification, yeah I mentioned that.

: We became human by struggling together and that coincidently enough is what we'll have to do to change anything. To the streets comrades! (even if its just a stall with some radical propaganda - from little things big things grow)

Marx wasnt keen on the to the streets material, the old social democrat.

: finally, from the last chapter of a book I like very much:

: In the higher phase of socialism, humanity will pass beyond formal equality in the distribution of consumer goods and services to actual equality, that is, to the operation of the rule from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.

And the evidence for this is where?

: As a result of the planned development of the productive forces and the full automation of production, socialism in its higher phase will be able to assure society such an abundance of goods that labour will cease to be a requirement for the satisfaction of people's material wants.

Peoples "needs" (how do you seperate need from want?) change, one of the good things about capitalism is that it is innovative in fields like entertainment, where there any Playstations in the USSR? What about MTV?

: The state, as a special apparatus of coercion, will wither away and be replaced by a purely technical administration of the general business of society based on the people's voluntary fulfilment of social duties.

Now who's talking utopia?

No doubt I'll be in touch.

Cheers Citizen,

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