DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Another stupid question about another Lefty group

164 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Sep 30 2005 19:01

Yeah I think that makes sense. I think too much thinking in that area has been predicting, not enough offering alternatives. The distinction between form and content was what I missed in your first post and I agree with that - I think a healthy society is likely to have myriad of organisational forms with varying similarity to each other, and to ones we've seen before. However, I think it makes sense to suggest possible ideas now, if only because they can be inspirational - on my list of things to do it's very far down though. Certainly the most valuable lessons learned from old struggles are often what went wrong, how they failed.

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Sep 30 2005 19:30

Lazy,

The question of markets is a very complex issue. For me, I can only give you a fair answer by way of a very in-depth discussion of it as a social relation, much as I see money. For me to approach markets and money as 'things' is to lose site of the fact that they are ways that relations between people are structured, they are relations between people.

afraser and I had a very long discussion on this recently and I would rather direct you to that discussion than re-write what I wrote.

I am not trying to convince you, per se, but I am trying to explain the basis of the difference.

IMO, this has definite political implications. To defend money and markets is to defend capital. Heck, that is capital in the current context (obviously enough, money, markets and commodities have existed in many socieities, though only under capital are such relations generalized and then extended to labor as its general condition.) That relationship structures all of social life, for example driving people off of the land in order to create 'free' labor; creating the separation of workplace and domestic place; separating domestic, unpaid labor from waged labor; creating a multitude of indirect relations between people in which the social no longer appears embodied in people, but in the market and in the state; the increasing division of urban and rural; production for exchange and therefore for a profit, requiring eventually the exploitation of labor, since if people exchanged goods in the market at equal values, they would only get back as much money as they spent unless they cheated people, and capital does not require cheating to function, so if they want to get more money than they spent, they must go outside of the exchange relation to somewhere else, and that somewhere else is to get workers to produce more than they get paid for (the wage form hides this by paying the worker over a period of time or for pieces, making it appear that the worker gets the full value of what they produce), and so on and so on.

Anyway, already too long.

The difference is that you see the problem as not enough money, not free enough markets, etc. I see it as money, markets, etc. as the problem and from my point of view your position ends up being that of the small commodity producer, not the proletarian, even if you want "neighborhood" control.

Also, for the record, Marx never opposes property per se. He explicitly says this in The German ideology, I think, distinguishing between the idiotic abolition of property tout court and the abolition of capitalist private property. So communism is wholly compatible with personal property and social property. After all, property can merely mean appropriation, and in its most general form human beings cannot shape their world without appropriating it, turning it into property.

cheers,

chris

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Sep 30 2005 19:32

Hi

Quote:
So if you want to buy something, and it doesn't already exist, how do you go about getting it made?

You invent it, like you do now. The difference being that if the bank manager won’t dish you the cash you need to invest in your project you can go to the Neighbourhood Council and hold the bank to democratic account. I'd be up for using a 12 person random jury system in a rolling people’s court. Of course, if no-one minds, you can just stop your existing job and work on your project using your basic income. Make sure you look “busy” though, some one might complain that you’re just sponging off everyone else. I think a presentation of your work may be in order at some point if you’re not going to be “encouraged” into a more useful job, at least a part time one. Perhaps you could clean houses for a little extra cash to get yourself started.

Quote:
In a communist society, you'd either find like-minded people to build it with or argue for it in an assembly. If no-one else wants one hard luck, but everything else is available for free, and you can still argue for it next time

Sounds good. I don’t see who would stop you from running your community like that. Will you be introducing a voucher system? Perhaps ration books would be in order. You better have one hell of a chocolate factory, that’s all I can say.

Quote:
The only way you're going to get stuff that no-one else wants in a market society is in some way being able to impose work on the people with skills to produce it - by control of currency which they need to buy something else

Bunging matey boy a few quid to install a pulse energy unit in your garage is hardly imposing work by controlling currency. Still, I suppose in that context matey boy “wants” to do it, so your point holds. When put like that, your point is an argument for a market society with guaranteed economic security for it’s citizens.

Quote:
what does "it’ll need to be worth the while" mean?

It makes you really happy in some way. For the individual the subjective benefit of the activity outweighs its subjective cost.

Quote:
Unless you'll be bartering your own labour for that yacht with them directly - hardly practical.

More practical than “arguing for it in an assembly”. Don’t people already do this? Ever heard of mate’s rates, mate?

Love

Chris

knightrose
Offline
Joined: 8-11-03
Sep 30 2005 19:51
Quote:
Sounds good. I don’t see who would stop you from running your community like that. Will you be introducing a voucher system? Perhaps ration books would be in order. You better have one hell of a chocolate factory, that’s all I can sa

Why the assumption that a rationing system will be needed? When I was a kid, oranges were mostly available in winter, strawberries in summer. The market has created a system where they are around all year, but strangley don't taste as nice - except in their proper season.

We don't actually know what the social relationships of communism will be like, but we can guess. I'd guess that I wouldn't need my own lawn mower, for example. Or washing machine. I certainlyh wouldn't want a house with three cars! Living would presumably be more communal and energy efficient. Would everyone want a dvd player or sky tv? A few years ago we didn't need them, the need was invented for us by capital.

A lot of stuff that is scarce could be more available if it was shared. Take away the compulsion to work and the alienating nature of what passes for work for most people, who knows what the powers of human creativity will bring. I doubt though whether it'd be some kind of ultra consumerist hell that creates scarcity of artificially created wants.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Sep 30 2005 20:04

Hi

Knightrose…

Quote:
As a participant in the debates at the end of Solidarity, I have little desire to repeat them.

Ok. You’re the boss.

Quote:
Were you there?

No, comrade. I’m far too young and sexy, I’m relying on you to tell me all about it.

Quote:
It wasn't very nice, was it?

I’m sorry to hear that. I think you’re right when you say it came to a natural end.

redtwister…

Quote:
your position ends up being that of the small commodity producer

That’s what being self employed does for you. Just call me the Socialist of the small peasant and master-craftsman. Honestly, lay off the mutualist stuff, I don’t like it. I always fancied myself as more of a Pannekoek than a Proudhon, but I begrudgingly accept your mild slander.

Love

Chris

knightrose
Offline
Joined: 8-11-03
Sep 30 2005 21:57
Quote:
Quote:

Were you there?

No, comrade. I’m far too young and sexy, I’m relying on you to tell me all about it

shame. it would be nice to meet up with another participant. I only know of two of us now, both in Manchester.

Still, I guess I'll have to make do with just looking young and sexy.

afraser
Offline
Joined: 16-07-05
Sep 30 2005 22:24

Knightrose: Communism will work at a local level, so will be able "to feed, clothe and house everyone". But it will struggle with other, almost equally essential, needs: advanced medicines, computers, telecommunications, railways, aircraft. For communism to work at such a large scale, considerable planning structures are required, resembling those of Eastern Europe economically, if not politically. That's unfortunate, because the major new lesson from the decline of the state socialist economies is that in complex economies, planning is inferior to market mechanisms for allocating resources.

Lazy Riser: I detest Roemer's writings on Market Socialism - he just advocates capitalism - and that put me off him so much I never took the trouble to read his earlier "General Theory of Exploitation and Class". But I will do so soon I think.

Redtwister: Although in favour of markets, I am opposed to any wage labour, to any idea of "I own the means of production and I have the money so you have to work for me".

My guess is there would be essentially no difference in political practice between us all. But, I hope, there is the chance of greater political effectiveness from those who can propose an attractive alternative to capitalism.

Quote:
IMO, this has definite political implications. To defend money and markets is to defend capital.

Defending money and markets is only defending capital (meaning here I think defending the owners of capital, capitalists) for those want to debate on their enemies terms, using their enemies propaganda. Capitalist apologists talk of free markets, free enterprise, wealth-creators, entrepreneurial spirit, and so on, but that is all transparent propaganda, we shouldn't accept any of it. The problem with capitalism is capitalists, landlords, wage labour, rent, interest, not commodity markets, not money itself - but finance, the private control of investment funds, the private ownership of the means of production.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 1 2005 11:29

Hi

What an impressive thread. There, I told you the ICC had a purpose. Should have been on “Thought” though, don’t you think?

Quote:
"I own the means of production and I have the money so you have to work for me"

Nasty person. But if the community says…

Quote:
"we own the means of production and we have the money so you have to work for us"

I sort of think that’s Ok. And as for…

Quote:
"I own some means of production and I have a little money do you fancy a go on it?"

Is to be encouraged.

In solidarity

Chris

Quote:
"No thanks, the Town Council’s happy for me to draw a decent income whilst I work on my cold fusion technology. I’m serving drinks on Thursday night in “Cuddles”, why not pop down for a few?"
redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 3 2005 15:23
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

redtwister…

Quote:
your position ends up being that of the small commodity producer

That’s what being self employed does for you. Just call me the Socialist of the small peasant and master-craftsman. Honestly, lay off the mutualist stuff, I don’t like it. I always fancied myself as more of a Pannekoek than a Proudhon, but I begrudgingly accept your mild slander.

Love

Chris

Hey now, whoa... I said the position, not you. I don't particularly buy the idea that there is a 1-1 relationship between what we do and our 'politics', but that we need to examine our positions and their implications. That to me is the implication of your position, but I am not aiming the old "you damn petty bourgeois" at you.

chris

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 3 2005 15:31
afraser wrote:

Defending money and markets is only defending capital (meaning here I think defending the owners of capital, capitalists) for those want to debate on their enemies terms, using their enemies propaganda. Capitalist apologists talk of free markets, free enterprise, wealth-creators, entrepreneurial spirit, and so on, but that is all transparent propaganda, we shouldn't accept any of it. The problem with capitalism is capitalists, landlords, wage labour, rent, interest, not commodity markets, not money itself - but finance, the private control of investment funds, the private ownership of the means of production.

And herein is the entire core of our disagreements, summed up very succinctly. What you have a problem with does not exist sans commodity (whcih is a social relation, not merely a thing) and money (which is a social relation and not merely a thing). For you, these are merely 'practical', simply objects which can be used for better or worse. for me, they are specific ways in which social activity is organized in a way that produces classes, and where the dominant form of labor is as a commodity, of capitalist classes. This is why Marx refers not merely to commodities and money, but to the commodity-form and the money-form and why he spends a great deal fo time starting Capital with an exposition of the problem: why do human relations take the form of commodities and money and what are its implications.

the capitalist is a cipher, a non-being, even though they have the appearance of being the super-individual. They are merely chits on a gold green, holding the place for capital because capital must find a two-legged doppleganger on which to get to the market. But the capitalist only exists as long as he/she operates as the embodiment of capital and follows its dictates.

Anyway, as with Lazy, its not that i expect to convince you, but I cannot help but disagree with you.

chris

afraser
Offline
Joined: 16-07-05
Oct 3 2005 19:57

Joseph Carens "Equality, Moral Incentives and the Market" is said to ingeniously lay out how communism, not socialism, can be reconciled with the market. Extrapolating from his ideas as they are described in secondary sources (I have not yet read the original), a society could be imagined such that:

1. Everyone would receive an identical income - of, say, $40k - regardless of how or even whether they worked. This could be euphemized into vouchers if dollars were felt to be too reminiscent of capitalism. That is communist in the event of scare resources - in the futuristic event of unlimited resources, the identical income would be infinite, rather than $40k, but the same principles would apply.

2. People could, would, produce goods for sale on the market for trade with others' incomes. People could do that either individually or, more often, organised into workers co-operatives.

3. But they, the producers, would keep none of the money that their products fetched (100% taxation). Successful or not, everyone would receive the same $40k income at the end of the day. So a member of workers co-op which had made a profit of $1m per worker could get the inner satisfaction of believing he had been a high achieving contributor to the common good, and might be able to bore his mates by bragging about how great he was in a Stakhanovite sense, but he would get just the same income as everyone else, there would be absolute equality in material goods.

4. Markets (prices) would nevertheless have great use as allowing planning authorities to identify which firms were not performing, which commodities were scarce relative to demand, which commodities were surplus to demand, which individuals were not pulling their weight. Actions that authorities would take in light of such information would have no financial implications - everyone would always get the $40k payment regardless - but that would not reduce their potential effectiveness.

Such an economy would be unplanned (for consumer goods, not investment goods), and would still reward (albeit only on paper rather than in real money) alienating market practices, and so may still be unacceptable to some communists. But it would be perfectly egalitarian, and without overly invasive and irrational planning authorities.

More fundamentally, against all this must be set the brutal realism of how realizable communism is with humanity the way it is.

Still, an interesting idea.

knightrose
Offline
Joined: 8-11-03
Oct 3 2005 20:20
Quote:
Still, an interesting idea.

Ultimately, interesting ideas remain just that, ideas. And that is the difference between the marketeers and the communists involved in this discussion. The grand schemes for non-monetary money rely on persuading millions of people that the scheme is a more rational way of organising society and then hoping that they will reorganise things appropriately. The communists, on the other hand, see change as a product of social upheaval by the proletariat. As the proletariat are the product of the wage labour/capital relationship, it seems probably that any revoltuion against that relationship will lead to its negation and hence the abolition of the whole wages system.

Or to put it another way, if the working class have managed to get rid of the state and capital, why fuck around with reinventing money and exchange?

I'm sounding more and more marxist as I read what i write. Maybe some things never change.

Quote:
More fundamentally, against all this must be set the brutal realism of how realizable communism is with humanity the way it is.

With humanity the way it is, communism is impossible. Fortunately, human consciousness is a social product. During times of social upheaval that consciosness changes. Then communism becomes possible.

afraser
Offline
Joined: 16-07-05
Oct 3 2005 20:47
knightrose wrote:
Or to put it another way, if the working class have managed to get rid of the state and capital, why fuck around with reinventing money and exchange?

Why indeed? But simple souls like me would like to know what, once the state and capital have been gotted rid of, will the ruling structure be like? I mean, if its a choice between, say, the state and capital on one hand, and nazism on the other, I might not be so keen to see the revolution succeed. Salafism is another alternative I'm not too keen on. Stalinism also.

Lets hear it for non-money anarchism, but let hear it warts (blueprints) and all - cheap criticism is cheap.

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 4 2005 14:12
afraser wrote:
knightrose wrote:
Or to put it another way, if the working class have managed to get rid of the state and capital, why fuck around with reinventing money and exchange?

Why indeed? But simple souls like me would like to know what, once the state and capital have been gotted rid of, will the ruling structure be like? I mean, if its a choice between, say, the state and capital on one hand, and nazism on the other, I might not be so keen to see the revolution succeed. Salafism is another alternative I'm not too keen on. Stalinism also.

Lets hear it for non-money anarchism, but let hear it warts (blueprints) and all - cheap criticism is cheap.

Nazism and Stalinism are the massive intervention of the state to rescue capital, so I find it hard to see how you could refer to these as 'post-state', so to speak.

An interesting discussion from the anarchist perspective can be found in David Graeber's anthropological work, where he argues that communism is a very, very old tendency and gives many different examples of different human societies where non-commodity, non-monetary and non-state relations existed, with varying degrees of complexity.

The other side, of course, is to simply ask why anyone with a knowledge of the revolutions of the 20th century would want to defend the wage system and money. No revolution yet has left them intact, even if they have only rejected them without necessarily finding an adequate positive solution, esp since few of them have lasted long enough to pose the problem) and every counter-revolution has first and foremost re-imposed wages and money (starting with Lenin and the Bolsheviks' 'one-man management', piece rates, Stakhanovism and all the other trimmings of typical wage labor, but also including the role of the leadership of the CNT-FAI in Spain.)

So the defense of money and market relations would seem to drive in the opposite direction from the revolutionary movements of the 20th century, and I am proposing (and so is knightrose, as I understand him) that we are not attempting to impose social relations on people, but arguing that our task is to support, strengthen and clarify the ones that grow out of revolutionary class conflicts on the side of the working class. This of course might create a conflict with those who will defend the use of money and markets and I will be interested to see how they escape wage-labor and the reimposition of capital in the process. Not that I will sit and watch that happen passively, should we be lucky enough to see such a challenge to capital in our lifetimes (mine being half over, approx., there is a very good chance I won't see it.)

chris

knightrose
Offline
Joined: 8-11-03
Oct 4 2005 16:02

I find it frustrating that others have a better way with words than I do. But I basically agree with what Chris just said. I don't think you can lay down a blue print. I'm sure that a revolutionary class will sort things out for itself in ways that we will find surprising.

However, as a few ideas? I don't think society will just be a set of self managed communes. there is a need for organisation on a regional and global level. After all, the trains do have to run on time! Actually, the syndicalists have presented theories on this. I don't see why self-managed organisation cannot achieve this and I'm certain that a revolutionary movement would not be content with seeing modern health care disappear, for example. Computers will still exist, so will the internet and of course telephones, ships, planes, trains, roads and so on. It's not beyond ability of our imagination to see how they could be used.

For blueprints, read what the SPGB has written. It's often very good. their website is www.worldsocialism.org/spgb

Where I have problems with them is that they have a similar world view to afraser and lazy riser, they propose a blueprint which they want to persuade everyone else of. I don't think this is practical, though I find such blueprints enjoyable. I believe that consciousness changes as a result of class struggle - by the process of struggling against capital, the proletariat reinvents itself and its ideas and hence changes the world.

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 4 2005 17:46
knightrose wrote:
I find it frustrating that others have a better way with words than I do. But I basically agree with what Chris just said. I don't think you can lay down a blue print. I'm sure that a revolutionary class will sort things out for itself in ways that we will find surprising.

However, as a few ideas? I don't think society will just be a set of self managed communes. there is a need for organisation on a regional and global level. After all, the trains do have to run on time! Actually, the syndicalists have presented theories on this. I don't see why self-managed organisation cannot achieve this and I'm certain that a revolutionary movement would not be content with seeing modern health care disappear, for example. Computers will still exist, so will the internet and of course telephones, ships, planes, trains, roads and so on. It's not beyond ability of our imagination to see how they could be used.

For blueprints, read what the SPGB has written. It's often very good. their website is www.worldsocialism.org/spgb

Where I have problems with them is that they have a similar world view to afraser and lazy riser, they propose a blueprint which they want to persuade everyone else of. I don't think this is practical, though I find such blueprints enjoyable. I believe that consciousness changes as a result of class struggle - by the process of struggling against capital, the proletariat reinvents itself and its ideas and hence changes the world.

Yeah, what he said. None of that primitivist crap or isolationism of insular communes.

Its hard to imagine simply rejecting efficient global transport and communication or global production and distribution chains for certain things, but the notion of markets presented by Lazy and afraser seems more like the farmers' market than the world market, and while the farmers' market might be grand for local produce and handicrafts, but I'd hate to have to organize trans-oceanic shipping and ship building that way or the production an distribution of pharmaceuticals and advanced medical equipment.

Chris

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 4 2005 18:20

Hi

We should take a project-oriented view of the revolution. Everyone else is welcome to their perspective, whatever does it for them really, but when someone asks me what I think we should do next I can do more than shrug my shoulders and spout a vacuous cop out like “the working class will develop it’s own solutions through struggle” or “wait until the nations of the earth are synchronised in their resistance to capital”.

How does the working class develop a programme for social transformation other than through individuals setting out their political stall for debate? Working class people must propose their position, if we refuse to create a concrete vision of the next step, the perspective of the bourgeoisie will continue to prevail.

We should concentrate on advancing our situation rather than wringing our hands how we’re going to “get rid” of this or that. No-one will need to re-invent markets, they emerge from human endeavour in general and not capitalism in particular. The same goes for money.

Everyone should know that I’m using a common sense definition of terms, not rarefied Marxist taboo versions laden with oppressive social relation connotations. One of you no-money, hierarchical-planning types should propose at least one viable economic model that works from a technical perspective and explain how we’re going to implement it.

Love

LR

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 5 2005 18:32
Lazy Riser wrote:
How does the working class develop a programme for social transformation other than through individuals setting out their political stall for debate? Working class people must propose their position, if we refuse to create a concrete vision of the next step, the perspective of the bourgeoisie will continue to prevail.

There are 6 billion people on the planet. a few million at best are self-consciously anarchist/communist and a lot of them are total buffoons. A few individuals setting out their stall is irrelevant. That's why people form (sometimes only slightly larger) organizations and connect with people and hopefully get to participate in struggles. But if we are waiting for our 'program' to be adopted, we are pretty screwed.

That does not preclude us from stating a few things we think would have to happen (hence the reason i posted, to almost no discussion, Loren Goldner's "Fictitious Capital and the Transition Out of Capitalism" http://home.earthlink.net/%7Elrgoldner/program.html So feel free to start there, I think its very interesting, but about as far as one can get. There is a difference betwee the content of communism and its specific forms. About the former we can say a lot, about the latter almost nothing.

Quote:
We should concentrate on advancing our situation rather than wringing our hands how we’re going to “get rid” of this or that. No-one will need to re-invent markets, they emerge from human endeavour in general and not capitalism in particular. The same goes for money.

Horseshit. For every society with markets and/or money, there is one without them. Unless you want to be so abstract that every human transaction is a market exchange (including barter, potlatch, gifting, etc.) and money is universal, which is absurd, since money, where it has existed, has largely been on the fringes of social life in almost every society prior to capitalism. So I'm gonna say that you are just plain historically wrong. That is nothing more than an apology for and naturalization of capitalism. And instead of merely making the assertion, let me ask you to show me just one society other than capitalism where the majority of people were dependent on both money and markets for their everyday functioning.

Quote:
Everyone should know that I’m using a common sense definition of terms, not rarefied Marxist taboo versions laden with oppressive social relation connotations. One of you no-money, hierarchical-planning types should propose at least one viable economic model that works from a technical perspective and explain how we’re going to implement it.

No, indeed you are not using any kind of scientific approach at all. You are uncritically appropriating terms which are ideological and terms of war through and through as if they were neutral.

As for the second request, all you can do is show me a petty capitalist utopia that has never existed, so I would like to see you explain to me, in the detail you expect, just how we will say manage medical services merely at the level of manufacturing and distributing pharmaceuticals, equipment, medical personnel, and transport equipment using your vision, if you're so damn sure it is clear and not just abstract generalities posing as something more concrete. I'm pretty sure you can't do more than give me generalities that, confronted with concrete questions will become more vague and abstract as we get further into it. And why not askthis, as you demand that I show you a model of what could work when there is no precedent in all of human history for 6+ billion people collectively working together in the abscence of class relations, re-shaping their world.

If I was feeling mean I would suggest in all sincerity that you read "Parecon", but frankly it is incredibly dull and limited. However, it may be the best thing out there for those who want to masturbate the impossible.

For my part, I think you get the whole process backwards. People don't fight back because they have a vision of something else, they fight back because they have no choice, because they are sick of what is happening. Their initial move to resist is one of negation, of a big, fat "NO" and only after they are a good way into that no do they start figuring out ways to say yes because it is only through the organs and practices developed in the no do people begin to build the means to create a yes.

So we have to support every 'no' instead of acting like crotch-kicking teacher-therapists demanding that people have a positive alternative or solution before they go making criticisms. Fuck that. Start with the No, the scream, the blind 'fuck you', and build from there.

no love at the moment (maybe later),

chris

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 5 2005 18:38

Goldner didn't get much on here, but a discussion about related (mainly class/sustainability) issues has been going on over on urban75: http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=130654

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 5 2005 19:36

Hi

Quote:
A few individuals setting out their stall is irrelevant

This principle lies at the foundations of our disagreement, it is the difference between our world view. Liberty is key; one person’s view can never be irrelevant.

Quote:
Horseshit

It is you who are the master of horseshit, comrade. It’s a bit dishonest to ridicule my proposal by association with Smithsonian apologists. What’s your problem with Capitalism anyway? “Unfairness”?, “Exploitation”?. You’ve got your problems, I’ve got mine. My politics solve my problems, yours, hopefully, solve yours. My problem is economic insecurity and hierarchal power. Abolishing markets and money does not solve my problem, especially as it does not come alongside a programme for the immediate material economic advance of working class people.

Quote:
And instead of merely making the assertion, let me ask you to show me just one society other than capitalism where the majority of people were dependent on both money and markets for their everyday functioning.

That’s an unfair challenge. Capitalism is the only game it town. Say I did though? What difference would it make? What would your next argument be? This is only one of the arguments in your armoury to defend your victim mentality. The market is competition for reward, you just don’t think it’s healthy.

Interesting use of the word “dependent”, by the way. Think of the market as a organisational technology utilised by neighbourhood councils to encourage efficiency, quality and innovation.

Quote:
petty capitalist utopia…If I was feeling mean I would suggest in all sincerity that you read "Parecon”…masturbate the impossible

It would do you no harm to assume that I am reasonably well read. In all fairness, your notion of every body collectivising like good little citizens in some godless simulation of Christianity strikes me as a more utopian position. I am intrigued though, what components strike you as being particularly naive?

Quote:
For my part, I think you get the whole process backwards. People don't fight back because they have a vision of something else, they fight back because they have no choice, because they are sick of what is happening. Their initial move to resist is one of negation, of a big, fat "NO" and only after they are a good way into that no do they start figuring out ways to say yes because it is only through the organs and practices developed in the no do people begin to build the means to create a yes

That may be true for some people who gravitate towards the left in general and anarchism in particular. It is not true of me. Maybe we’re wasting our time trying to appeal to these losers, perhaps we should recruit those who are prepared to rise above capitalism rather than wallow in their sense of victimisation.

Quote:
So we have to support every 'no' instead of acting like crotch-kicking teacher-therapists demanding that people have a positive alternative or solution before they go making criticisms. Fuck that. Start with the No, the scream, the blind 'fuck you', and build from there.

Stay calm comrade, you’ll burst a blood vessel. You sound like someone with a histrionic personality disorder, it’s surprising given the normally sophisticated output from you that I’ve grown to…

…love.

LR

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 5 2005 20:33

Hi

Quote:
so I would like to see you explain to me, in the detail you expect, just how we will say manage medical services merely at the level of manufacturing and distributing pharmaceuticals, equipment, medical personnel, and transport equipment using your vision

Interesting use of the word “merely”. I suggest organisations compete to provide health care services to the public. They should adopt whatever organisational practice most effectively serves their customers as determined by a propose-and-vote system of industrial democracy with line managers acting as delegates from teams of workers.

Where a someone feels that they have been let down by a firm, neighbourhood councils would have sweeping powers to put it right, without limitation.

As for the reward for workers’ efforts. I propose that banks output an equal income to each citizen, which they are free to spend as they see fit. They will have to spend some of their money on health care and price controlled-public services in the same way as they are currently required to have insurance when they drive a car.

An individual’s personally owned assets, fixed and financial, are a matter of public knowledge and subject to requisition by neighbourhood councils. For jobs that receive no applicants, because their terms are undesirable, the terms will have to be improved until it’s worth someone’s while. I would suggest more holiday as the best way of filling the most unpopular jobs.

I am not advocating such a system for it’s own sake, it just represents what I need from a society (with potential for further development) via a course navigable from our present situation. I will leave it to afraser to propose a policy to get us from A to B.

Love

LR

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 5 2005 20:49
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
A few individuals setting out their stall is irrelevant

This principle lies at the foundations of our disagreement, it is the difference between our world view. Liberty is key; one person’s view can never be irrelevant.

Irrelevant in practice, man, not in principle. Otherwise, why would I bother here? Its just not what is going to shift the thing.

Quote:
Quote:
Horseshit

It is you who are the master of horseshit, comrade. It’s a bit dishonest to ridicule my proposal by association with Smithsonian apologists. What’s your problem with Capitalism anyway? “Unfairness”?, “Exploitation”?. You’ve got your problems, I’ve got mine. My politics solve my problems, yours, hopefully, solve yours. My problem is economic insecurity and hierarchal power. Abolishing markets and money does not solve my problem, especially as it does not come alongside a programme for the immediate material economic advance of working class people.

Who nelly, you're the anarchist. If that's all anarchism is to you, then I'm not even sure why you are an anarchist, unless its a Stirner kinda thing. And I have explained my problem with capitalism repeatedly, but you keep up with this fluffy 'unfair' crap, which is freakin annoying and condescending.

Second, where did I not say that the immediate improvemnt of workers' lives was not central? You think people will overthrow capital and not address that? Just that in some cases it will mean more things, in some cases fewerr things, in most cases, much less work. Hence the reason i cited Loren's piece, which has, after its own fashion, a transitional program or at least some suggestions.

Quote:
And instead of merely making the assertion, let me ask you to show me just one society other than capitalism where the majority of people were dependent on both money and markets for their everyday functioning.
Quote:
That’s an unfair challenge. Capitalism is the only game it town. Say I did though? What difference would it make? What would your next argument be? This is only one of the arguments in your armoury to defend your victim mentality. The market is competition for reward, you just don’t think it’s healthy.

Interesting use of the word “dependent”, by the way. Think of the market as a organisational technology utilised by neighbourhood councils to encourage efficiency, quality and innovation.

What's an unfair challenge? Capitalism has only been the only game in town for a few hundred years. Can you not show me another example in all of human history? Otherwise, all you can tell me is that markets and money are right, well because that's all we've got to work with, which is a short-sighted vision.

An 'market is competition for reward'? Jeezus, ok, well that's brilliant. Aztecs playing a game where they knocked heads through a hoop was a competition for a reward but it wasn't a market. My playing basketball in the neighborhood is in some sense competition for a reward (just to win, which garners one praise and respect.) But it isn't a market.

I've got no problem with competition, but talking as if that is what markets were is retarded. Its econ major/business school twaddle. Either markets are the indirect allocation of goods, using money, or they aren't markets. That is a bare minimum of coherence, and that is only the tip of the iceberg.

As for a 'victim mentality', I am not the one who started the personal insults. I disagree with your position. "Horsehit" is pretty clear, if unspecific, but I didn't call you any names or question your honesty. Why the sudden descent in the face of not being able to answer a question? Basically, you like capitalism. You dislike hierarchy and economic insecurity. You see your thing as a solution to your problems. I don't see a personal solution to my problems, or them as being my personal problems, but as part of a whole insane world which I consciously find maddening and insane and murderous, but which I think most people find so in fragmented ways. That doesn't keep me from being as fragmented as everyone else, btw, or as insane, I just see a bigger, more whole picture, for all that does me most days...

Also, what is the fetish of neighborhood councils? What makes that so great? And how will 'neighborhood councils' organize large-scale production? Damn "farmers' market socialism"..

Quote:
Quote:
petty capitalist utopia…If I was feeling mean I would suggest in all sincerity that you read "Parecon”…masturbate the impossible

It would do you no harm to assume that I am reasonably well read. In all fairness, your notion of every body collectivising like good little citizens in some godless simulation of Christianity strikes me as a more utopian position. I am intrigued though, what components strike you as being particularly naive?

No idea what you've read, but apparntly Pareon was not a part of it, as even tho it is dry, boring and IMO pretty unimaginative, it at least makes a non-market society seem quite feasible.

As for 'collectivising like good little citizens', typical individualist FUD (FUD is the propaganda of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt, most famously used by Microsoft ito smash rivals who had superior products.) Sound like a little tyranny of the masses might do you some good!

Did I say 'naive'? I thought I said absurd. I didn't claim you were 'naive', but that your position was absurd because I think your notion of 'markets' and 'money' are wish-it-was-like-this fantasies. For my part, i am arguing from the content, as I understand it, of actual social struggles that have taken place over the last 160 years, and if someone like David Graeber is correct, is a permanent tendency in human social relations. I'm not starting from a notion of what i would like society to be like, but from what I think it is shown that life could be like based on the history of human beings, and most specifically based on this society and our social struggles.

Quote:

That may be true for some people who gravitate towards the left in general and anarchism in particular. It is not true of me. Maybe we’re wasting our time trying to appeal to these losers, perhaps we should recruit those who are prepared to rise above capitalism rather than wallow in their sense of victimisation.

Wow, now I will make a personal observation. You are an arrogant elitist, in principle and politics, if not in person. I don't see a point in talking to you if you think most people are stupid 'losers' and you are part of the cream that is ready to 'rise above', which is clearly an individual pursuit for you.

Quote:
Stay calm comrade, you’ll burst a blood vessel. You sound like someone with a histrionic personality disorder, it’s surprising given the normally sophisticated output from you that I’ve grown to…

Aye, pop a blood vessel... why would such personal invective and arrogance make me pop a blood vessel? I'm about to join the Revol68 club...

No love,

Chris

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 5 2005 21:30

Hi

Quote:
I am not the one who started the personal insults

Was it me then? I'm really sorry about that. Are you, like, really upset or something?

All the best

Chris

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 5 2005 21:38

Hi

On a different note...

Quote:
I've got no problem with competition

Are you not against economic competition? What do you make of the school of thought that proposes that all competition is essentially economic.

Love

Chris

Anarchoneilist
Offline
Joined: 10-12-04
Oct 6 2005 10:01
knightrose wrote:
sorry Chris, that sounds a lot like capitalism to me.

Its market socialism and I've had similar sympathies,but

it boils down to capitalism being more accountable and "fair".

Anarchoneilist
Offline
Joined: 10-12-04
Oct 6 2005 10:03

Couldn't be arsed to read the insults etc,

but you have to admit capitalsits don't

actually agree with free markets

as such,overwise there'd be full employment

etc.

Anarchoneilist
Offline
Joined: 10-12-04
Oct 6 2005 10:04

"capitalsits" is actually quite a good word wink red n black star

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 6 2005 13:17

Hi

I'm not so sure that free markets mean full employment. I don't think full employment is a worthwhile objective.

Love

LR

redtwister
Offline
Joined: 21-03-05
Oct 6 2005 13:58
revol68 wrote:
biatch you'll never get into that club!

Your more pissed off pedant than hyperreal revolutionary street talking gangsta.

Face it your Doonesbury to my Boondocks!

Alright, you wanna throw down, fanboy?

Hyperreal my ass. More like twinkie in neo-pop, Power Puff Girl bunny slippers!!

Boondocks?!?! Huey, the only black socialist cartoon in mainstream America, doesn't cuss. You're more like his little brother, all wanna-be thug living on pansy lane.

Want some more, jail-bait?

grin

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 6 2005 17:17

Hi

The Power Puff Girls are ace.

LR