- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Have you had any?

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on October 11, 1999 at 17:06:31:

In Reply to: yeah but what about education? posted by Gee on October 11, 1999 at 13:00:50:

: : Funny, why did Robert Nozick bring up Wilt Chamberlain in order to 'prove' that modes of production are not social relations? Why did Ayn Rand claim that 'running' a coal mine was akin to writing a symphony? Libertarians are addicted to using artists and athletes as examples in their sweeping pronouncements that labor exists only in discrete, isolated instances!

: A rather tenuous attempt to show the 'machinations of the ruling class' as expressed through the unlikely, and deeply unpopular with government, nozick and rand!

SDF: A rather tenuous attempt to dodge the central issue that Stoller was trying to discuss -- the notion that labor is social labor, that all of us, working together, create a society with a specific form, that the study of the "labor of the individual" produces nothing if it ignores the labor of all of the individuals working together. Having little or nothing to do with the value of Rand and Nozick to the working class.

But, hey, if it increases your self-esteem to debate red herrings, or to cite lots of books by John Dewey without discussing them, then it must increase your learning and contribute to your education, right?

: : Concerning the so-called libertarian criticism of the state, who are they trying to fool? Libertarians, requiring the protection of their private property, are the staunchest defenders of the state in the ideological universe! Where there is private property, the badge and the billy club are not far behind.

: The belief that a state is holding the whole shaky thing together is dubious.

SDF: No, it's not. For instance, one can easily see the privatization of state functions in that glorious example of anarcho-capitalist paradise, Russia. 40% of today's Russian economy goes to "protection services". When the state disappears, another state reappears in order to protect private property.

: The idea that private property is some unatural concept

SDF: The idea that private property is some "natural" concept ignores its historical genesis as a cultural entity. More specifically, it ignores the destruction of the commons (in the 18th century in the UK) and the forcible herding of its residents into big cities, where vagrancy laws subsequently forced them into laboring for factory owners. What's more, it ignores the philosophical basis for property in Locke (as discussed in C B MacPherson's THE POLITICAL THEORY OF POSSESSIVE INDIVIDUALISM)...

As I said above, if it increases your self-esteem to avoid serious discussion, then it must be good for your education, right?

: foisted onto an unsuspecting mass is unrealistic - if it were so inimical to people then it would not exist, a 'property owning class' (a loose distinction at best from those who only own a little bit) cannot exist without the sanction of the vast majority. The state you criticise for supporting private property (which evidently they do only when its convenient, observe various laws and taxes which contradict the notion) does so with the overwhelming support of the many, not the few.

SDF: The state has the overwhelming support of the many? That's what you say above.

: : The 'state' is the hobgoblin of libertarian ideology. Libertarian ideology posits that the state is something outside social relations, an intrusive force, an elite answerable to no one other than itself. But the state is nothing more than the superstructure of already existing social relations.

: Its' 'super' because if we disagree with our neighbours we dont get invited round anymore.

SDF: If your neighbors have guns they can shoot you.

: If we disagree with thr state we go to jail - unless you labor under the misapprehension that your one vote in millions actually means something.

SDF: OTOH, corporations would shoot us without benefit of due process of law, like they do in Russia. Or Brazil, for that matter.

: : Presently the state is the apparatus of the capitalist minority. In communist society, a new one will become---for a period---the apparatus of the proletarian majority.

: Yes weve seen those temporary ones. Must mean temporary in some cosmic sense. I know - it wasnt real communism etc etc. Ever wonder why its *never* real communism?

SDF: Maybe because it didn't sweep the globe.

: Sufficient people

SDF: Of which none exist outside of the "Robinson Crusoe" model of economic existence. Everyone is in the web of independence.

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