- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar on November 05, 1999 at 16:09:07:

In Reply to: Without a doubt! posted by Stoller on November 04, 1999 at 18:45:04:

: : I have a major problem with this idea of 'human nature'. That is that there is some undeniable force pushing us towards a consumer driven free-market economy and hang the consequences...

: Every epoch produces a ruling class. Each ruling class presents an ideology to those ruled. The ideology supports the rule of the ruling class (big surprise!)

: Every ideology defends its social relations by claiming a monopoly on inevitability.

: The feudal lords said poverty was 'God's will.' The capitalists---appropriating a vulgar Darwinism (once they got used to the fellow's ideas)---say poverty is 'human nature' (laziness, biological inferiority etc.).

: I believe the proletariat---once they assume control of the social relations---will be more honest.

: They'll simply say to the capitalist accustomed to living off the labor of others: You, too, must work because we say so. Period.

Well, Barry, I don't know. I have no problem witbh requiring that citizens devote, let's say, eight hours a week to some kind of socialized work; either necessary social services like building houses for the homeless, or un-leasant tasks like cleaning bathrooms. But as for the other days of teh week, i don't think we need to exert total coercion in the way you suggest. If someone wants to be relatively 'unproductive', or if they don't like the jobs that they see, or if they wnat to live as hermits, then by all means let 'em. People shoudl be free to be unemployed, excepting teh 1 day each week of community labor. All's I'm saying is that they shouldn't get extra privilege or wealth for being unproductive.

take the example of Kerala; they're spocialist, but they let religious mendicants walk around begging for alkms, without doing 'work' in the commonly understood sense. Or monks in Laos, or tribal hunters in Tanzania or Burkina Faso, etcetera...

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