- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 12, 1999 at 14:48:16:

In Reply to: '70+%'?---Let's see it, pal. posted by Barry Stoller on October 12, 1999 at 12:31:17:

: No, he has prospered within the existing social relations. He first had to acquiesce to them. He may be crushed by bigger capital in a few years---or lose his life saving's in one of those stock market crashes that, according to you, 'don't look so bad' if you study their 50-year course. The small capitalist lives most precariously. He is no master of his relationship with capital. It's dog-eat-dog out there.

If it was dog eat dog then the dogs would die out. Forget xero-sum economic of "i'm winning therefore you must be losing", that is as wrojng as it gets.

: Would you care to say that about the Roman Empire? The antebellum American South? Stalinist Russia?

Yes. In each case there is a cost to staying as it is and a cost to changing it. History demonstrates that most poeple consider the cost of changing much higher than the cost of remaining the same. Or do they? Stalinist Russia lasted only so long, his death whether it came or not, would not have stopped the gradual peeling back of oppression which culminated in the break up.

The Roman empire made enemies enough to ensure its downfall.

In a line. Poeple will willingly take a lot of shit.

: Now, this business about '70+% of millionaire business owners who started out "in the labor market" like most Americans do.' Let's see the citation to prove that utterly magical claim! Seriously---let's see it, pal.

First read "The Millionaire Next Door," by Thomas J. Stanley and State University of New York business professor William Danko to find, much against many a myth, that most millionaires arent "big fat capitalists", that fewer than 20 percent of millionaires in the survey inherited more than 10 percent of their wealth and that Only 19 percent get any income from an estate or trust fund. Owning business often means 'small' businesses. If I was wrong about anyting - iys that many are still in the labor market anyway!

Then (after dismissing the above as bourgious propoganda ofcourse) visit forbes and see that even the incredibly riched are less likely to have inherited, or built up and inheritence than to have started a business. Sure you canpick out that many would have started off from relatively well off families and had a good education etc 9and many had not) - but these are the exceptions tight?

: Nonetheless, the point is not how many lottery winners there are. The point is how many lottery losers there are.

We werent talking about the randomly determined prizes in a lottery. No, pre-empting the vaigly deterministic behaviourism of 'you were bound to win' - we really werent.

: The sort of private propertythat generates surplus value from wage laborers---and only that sort of private property---will be abolished in the communist future.

There goes the above people I mentioned.

: The private ownership of the means of production will be confiscated in the communist future.

People arent holding their breath, poeple dont want it.

: But people would have lots of private property in the communist future---the sort of property that is consumed! Property like decent housing, decent health care, decent transportation, decent access to education, etc., etc.!

All rather hopefui - an assumption of plenty just because 'its possible'.

: Can you see a distinction between a private property that is meant for (final) consumption and a private property that is meant (only) for the production of profits?

I can.

: Now, your word terror. Powerful word. But terror, as you mean it, signifies nothing but the 'terror' of losing privileges sustained by denying others the same!

If you collect together wood and make a chair to sit upon, you are denying others that chair. Hell, stay morally good and make no chairs. the one who makes nothing is the highest 'good' because his/her inability doesnt contain the threat that he/she might want to choose wha to do with any efforts.

: And let's not forget that 'retired couple next door' you mentioned with such sentimentality!

ah, the lovely ones. Makes a change from Clinton Nazi-ism in the guise of "its for the children".

: Are you aware of the fact that, in our capitalist-vampire society, only 25% of the people are even able to retire?(1) Everyone else has to work until they fucking drop! The communist future will create a social security fund for the aged to live comfortably upon----all 100% of the aged, that is.

erm....possibly. Such predictions of plenty are pointless, its an assumption that a) there will be a communist future and b) everyone bar the very tiniest minority will be absolutely, unerringly dedicated and motivated to make it all possible and will seek no more for themselves and their loved ones than they would for a stranger or a hated enemy, and that this will continue for ever.

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