- Capitalism and Alternatives -

global notes

Posted by: bill on October 20, 1999 at 14:01:39:

In Reply to: A note posted by Stoller on October 19, 1999 at 19:03:15:

: SDF:
: If [revolution] is not imminent...then the point of discussing utopia and communes is to allow people to explore the relationships of people to each other and to things, i.e. to understand what Marx called "alienation."

: Now that I think of it, Twin Oaks is alienated from its labor.

: After all, they're making zillions of hammocks that they don't use and producing tons of tofu that they don't eat. They do so in order to 'trade' with the capitalist world---but on the terms dictated by the capitalists. In order to truly prevent alienated labor, the social model must be large enough to produce everything that it needs. Eh?


And earlier in the former post you wrote:

:"What's interesting, though, is capital's ardent desire to industrialize all of these [undeveloped] nations. The proletariat always accompanies the accumulation process. The revolutionary situation is generated again and again."

But I'm not convinced of this desire to to industrialize the undeveloped nations if that would result in developing the undeveloped nations. The transfer of wealth and accumulation of capital requires inequity. The greater the inequity (low labor costs), the greater the wealth transfer. It is in the interest of capital to maintain a level of "underdevelopment".

As for small communes or utopias, I feel that as well intentioined as such communities are, they require a level of conscious commitment and political or moral sensibility to forgo buying "the cheaper import" (something difficult to ask from a minimum wage worker). It is this problem that seems paramount, and the fact that "true cost" has not been reflected in the "cheaper" product cannot be tackled without a global perspective.

(I would hope communes and other intentional communities would make an appearance in Seattle to protest the WTO!)

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