- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Which facts? And who will 'choose' what they are?

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on October 15, 1999 at 12:36:58:

In Reply to: Aside from the ideology, when we look at the facts posted by Lark on October 14, 1999 at 16:44:34:

No, Lark, you idealistic anarchist you. Re-read what is being said, not what you expect to be there ...

The new threat to our liberties and freedoms lies not in the economic systems we adopt, but how they are chosen, and why. And the means by which this process is driven is less by human design, or "struggle" (class or otherwise), but increasingly at the capricious pace of modern technology. If anyone has a say in how these decisions are made, it is increasingly an arrangement made amongst the new elite of society, the educated aristocracy - the academians. It is Burnham’s managers (personified in the character O’Brien in 1984, or Mustafa Moda in Brave New World) at the beck and call of the brilliant and the gifted (the Randian ubermenschen of Atlas Shrugged; the Galts, and Reardens … the Stadlers, and Ferrises …) Galt meets O’Brien, and an unholy alliance of convenience is formed in which the nuances of ideology and market philosophy are merely incidental.

The article declares socialism to be dead, an opinion one might expect to find in Reason magazine. One would certainly find a different opinion in this regard in something like Z, or the Nation, and yet what is said in this presumably anti-socialist essay could easily be expressed on one that sounded pro-socialistic. Indeed, one’s stance on socialism in regards to the underlying message is entirely unimportant. The fear of the author (one in which, as an anarchist, I would assume you would understand) is that, in the name of stability and the containment of negative consequences, that a centralized authority will find sufficient intellectual justification and support to form an autocratic state. Thus, the danger is not from socialism, or capitalism, but from statism, i.e. the rule of a small group of self-appointed social caretakers over the supposedly semi-conscious and helpless masses. I quote:

"…we find statists who are, if anything, even more upset about market dynamism than their counterparts to the left and the right - because decentralized discovery processes cannot coexist with technocratic, political control."

One Brian Urquart, an official at the U.N. I believe, went even so far as to say that technological innovation itself should be moderated and/or slowed/stopped, though by what means this would be accomplished was left unstated. One can imagine.

It is an issue that I (who have been called a ‘statist’) have been quite interested in for some time. Global warming? Widespread drug use? Animal abuse? International communists/militant Muslims/ethnic cleansing? Toxic hormone additives in meat? Illegal immigration? Nationalized health care? So then - Who will decide the relevance of these issues? Who will regulate our society, to protect us from these (supposed?) dangers and implement the (inevitably top-heavy) solutions? And, most importantly - are we to be allowed, or even capable of, adding anything to the ultimate decisions made? Given the increasingly complex nature of modern society, and the extremely detailed nature of the data on which such decisions are based, the answer increasingly is "no". Our betters will decide for us. We will obey, and accept - or else…

Before anyone here begins to get too smug, remember that Farinata used this exact ploy to discount my opinion on the ludicrous nature of the entire ‘global warming’ theory (I have inside knowledge that you do not possess; thus, even though the earth empirically isn’t warming globally, you have no authority to say so. I, the academian autocrat, do, and I say it is … and so forth). The same sort of thing is done repeatedly in this modern era, and only the most dedicated research can find the fault in it. As technology becomes increasingly more diverse and complex, it will become virtually impossible to counter the academians, no matter how ridiculous their arguments and theories might be, until after the fact - that is, after the damage is done. Nor is this the product of some global "conspiracy" or malicious entity; all of this - all of it - is the simple product of technology increasing at an exponential pace, and the specialization necessary to maintain it. "Future Shock", if you will.

Brave New World. Indeed.

"Doc" Cruel

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup