- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Claire's posting from 1997 and Pompous Tomatoes

Posted by: Quincunx on October 13, 1999 at 18:07:21:

In Reply to: nice linkies posted by Gee on September 27, 1999 at 01:42:41:

: : Qx: Hmmm....sounds interesting. I recall a while back a thread that touched upon Adam Smith. I was wondering if you could respond to what David Korten had to say about this matter.

G: I am not a big fan of incorporation because it can remove responsibility from actual poeple to 'entities' you see. Accountability and all that. ofcourse the can gets carried by some executives, but actual decisions are hard to trace - just like all 'entity institutions'. Like the various govt agncies. FBI anyone?

Qx: Actually, what incorporation allows and what the Reagan regime really perfected was something called "plausible deniability". Once that climate (or corporate culture)is achieved within a heirarchical organization then responsibilty for decisions can be perceived to have been an institutional problem instead of a set of decisions that originate from a collective decision to "let things run their course".

Qx: : As for Mr. Rockliff I think what he had to say was quite imteresting also. However, IMO Claire's posting still stands out as a masterpiece in this debating room. I wonder how Gee would have responded to it back then. Anyways, have a good weekend folks. I have to work.

G: I'm happy for Claire if she has found a way to live which is pleasnat to her. I think her premise summed up in "But I'll tell you why capitalism works well-- it appeals to the worse in everyone. It appeals to lack of patience, to pleasure seeking, to avoiding anything sad or unpleasant, to laziness." is wrong however.

Qx: Now you had better tell me (and everybody else how Claire is wrong) because if you can justify the alienated existence that billions lead under capitalism then you should at least tell us how people can lead truly productive and creative lives within this system of distribution.
If we take a look at what Claire said in her second to last paragraph then it becomes obvious that what she is talking about is engaging in unalienated labour. Here it is:

f I wrote a novel, built my own bookshelves, fixed my own car, grew tomatoes (previously mentioned by another), then I would have a lasting source of pride, entertainment, and gratification, which lasts me longer than a trip to the mall.

G: Just because she is happy to grow her own tomatoes doesnt mean everyone will want to spend a proportion of their time doing the same.

Qx: Exactly, they may want to read Bolivian poetry, read anarchist literature, chop wood, carry water, spend more time with their children, etc...In short to overcome the alienation that is such a cardinal feature of life in capitalist society. Perhaps, if we really understood the implications of "development" a better society could occur and some folks wouldn't really take such a position that makes one think that it is based on pomposity.

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