- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Once where libertarians now are luddites?

Posted by: Lark on October 18, 1999 at 14:43:42:

In Reply to: Which facts? And who will 'choose' what they are? posted by Dr. Cruel on October 15, 1999 at 12:36:58:

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

Now I know a lot of idealistic anarchists that'd disagree with your placing me in there camp....

: 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.

This appears to be a fantastic indictment of Capitalism, what is your point?

: 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.

Exactly what I was saying, have we got to the point then, once again, in history where the liberal, conservatives and tories will have to say hey we're still anti-socialist but socialist policy, that's a different matter?

: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)

I'm actually a democratic socialist, so if you can have reformist anarchism then I'm it but otherwise are you sure you want to use this terminology? Anyway back to the real issues.

: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."

Fair enough I find nothing more annoying than apolitical or sham political statism, what is worse is that is is so often paraded by the uninformed as socialism.

: 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.

And if you dont slow or stop it, what have you? A none state private totalitarianism.

: 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".

Well that is the impression that politicians and business try very hard, with lots of time and effort, to create. What your are suggesting is that old mantra of "if it changed anything they'd make it illegal" but the facts are they dont have to make it illegal to stop it just make it appear futile and it will die a death due to unpopularity.

:Our betters will decide for us. We will obey, and accept - or else…

Well if your a conservative or buy into the myths about futility.

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