- Capitalism and Alternatives -

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Posted by: bill on November 09, 1999 at 00:22:33:

In Reply to: So there is your (false dichotomy) choice NJ posted by Gee on November 08, 1999 at 18:38:30:

: : Don't you see, Nikhil---once you advocate 'only' 10% -20% private control of the means of production, guys like Gee who advocate 100% private control of the means of production come a-courtin'...

: I must have forgotten the bunch of flowers then.

: : And guys like you end up working for Phillip Morris 'cause they crush small labs with their copious supply of monopoly capital...

: So there is your false dichotomy. If you accept any sort of individualism, any sort of seperateness from the totality of society you are doomed to inevitably and incontravertably work for Philip Morris?

: Ofcourse not, and NJ knows it - and that is why people have *not* signed over their entire lives to BS's totality - including those who would disagree with me on a great many things - like NJ and SDF.

: Think it over - is it either/or? Can we have our cake and eat it to? Is it all out free markets or absolute totality?

: hmmm..... interesting.


hmmmm indeed.

Yet I think it disingenuous to keep referring to socialism as 'signing over your entire life'.

It should be possible to come up with an agreed upon set of values (personal freedom and self-expression would certainly be one, material well-being would be another - along with agreed upon restrictions such as destruction of the evironment that sustains living things, racist and sexist codes, etc.

If an agreement can be reached, it should be possible to <1>design a set of rules - a political system as it were - that would best meet a rationally derived criteria. To expect that the simple play of market forces, (which become distorted to the perceived advantage of the most acquisative) would result in the above mentioned ends is almost "magical thinking".

Now I know you are about to underline "if an agreement can be reached".
Well for rational beings, why not try?

As for scientists and such being under the thumb of some State Planning - this need not be the case at all! There is no "reason" why pure science, as pure art, could not be subsidized. It is possible to "design" a space for "unprofitable" freedom - much as university grants (at least at one time). (Many "discoveries" are made quite by accident. In fact it is often by getting off the rails of conventional and instrumentalist reasoning that such discoveries reveal themselves)

Gee, why do you bother defending a capitalist system that so patently results in cruelty, when you could use your energies to come up with reasonable alternatives?

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