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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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Otter

I don't think it's necessarily fair to call it hypocrisy, sivi - the whole point is to eventually rise above, no? I mean, I don't think "most anarchists and communists accept the need to collaborate with Capitalist society to some degree merely to survive" is actually true.

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Dingdongs

I don't think it's necessarily fair to call it hypocrisy, sivi - the whole point is to eventually rise above, no? I mean, I don't think "most anarchists and communists accept the need to collaborate with Capitalist society to some degree merely to survive" is actually true.

I still have difficulty understanding how the system would operate without collaboration. Let's take the pizza shop... How are Antny and Paulie going to get tomatoes to make their pizza if they don't grow it themselves? That would be inherently capitalistic... Even owning a pizza shop is, no? If Paulie and Antny are brothers and have their kids working there all collaborating nobody exploiting each other, it's still capitalistic and exploitative for them to own a shop and for them to buy tomatoes from farmers is it not?

Edited by Irviding

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sivispacem

I mean, I don't think "most anarchists and communists accept the need to collaborate with Capitalist society to some degree merely to survive" is actually true.

Not as a permanent measure, no, but the overwhelming majority of those doing so in Western societies at least do indeed collaborate with Capitalist society to one degree or another, and given that they clearly have no ideological desire to do so one can only assume it's out of necessity. The aspiration is certainly to overthrow the system of capital and wage slavery but that system, let's be honest, isn't actually being actively overthrown and unless you live in a self-sufficient commune you are basically a collaborator, regardless of whether or not you want/aspire to be.

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Otter

I think we're talking about two different types of collaboration, irv - sivi is talking about collaborating with existing capitalist societies. Seems like you're talking about how things would actually function in this anarchist world and I've yet to read that far in the FAQ. :p

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Eutyphro

Many small businesses are tertiary/service sector. There's no exploitive product of wage labour for them to sell as their primary product is the expertise of the peers that make up the organisation. The moment you start implicating them in wage slavery by proxy (IE claiming that they endorse it by making use of products of a Capitalist society even if they don't outright resell wage labour) you commit a fallacy of hypocrisy given that most anarchists and communists accept the need to collaborate with Capitalist society to some degree merely to survive and are therefore equally as culpable.

 

The term 'wage slavery' is open to interpretation I guess, and I wouldn't choose to call anyone making a good salary in a hierarchical organisation (and not being in a position of control in that organisation), in good working conditions, and with a decent set of rights, a 'wage slave'. But there is a certain critique implied in the term 'wage slave' that you are missing, namely that those who work in an organisation, should own it, and run it (corporate democracy).

 

So even in the 'tertiary sector' where someone is 'selling my expertise'; when I don't own a part of, and have democratic control of, the place I work at, then essentially I'm a tool to those who pay me. Maybe a tool with a good salary, good working conditions etc.. Because of labor rights that have been established by popular movements, but essentially you are still a tool to those who own and run the place where you work at.

Which isn't to say that you can't fundamentally disagree with the exploitive nature of the system, but that everyone who is a member of society is really a wage state collaborator to one degree or another.

 

Not as a permanent measure, no, but the overwhelming majority of those doing so in Western societies at least do indeed collaborate with Capitalist society to one degree or another, and given that they clearly have no ideological desire to do so one can only assume it's out of necessity. The aspiration is certainly to overthrow the system of capital and wage slavery but that system, let's be honest, isn't actually being actively overthrown and unless you live in a self-sufficient commune you are basically a collaborator, regardless of whether or not you want/aspire to be.

Being an idealist and being a realist is not mutually exclusive. I can not talk about anarchists in general obviously, but to me anarchism is an ideal, and any political ideal should be judged based on how it works out in reality. If ideas like corporate democracy are nowhere near the popular agenda, then who am I helping by placing myself outside of society as it is and being an example for an ideal noone cares or knows about?

 

I also think critique on society as it is, can in a useful way be based on your experience with society as it is. Collaborating does definitely have reasonable limits though, but considering those limits depend on an estimate of how to best improve your own personal development, and an estimate of what you can contribute in the context of the dynamics within the group you are part of, considering the uncertain nature of both these aspects, whatever your responsibility and most optimal conduct is remains equally uncertain and difficult to judge.

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sivispacem

So even in the 'tertiary sector' where someone is 'selling my expertise'; when I don't own a part of, and have democratic control of, the place I work at, then essentially I'm a tool to those who pay me. Maybe a tool with a good salary, good working conditions etc.. Because of labor rights that have been established by popular movements, but essentially you are still a tool to those who own and run the place where you work at.

That depends entirely on the organisation, though. Some- in fact an ever increasing number of- small businesses are partnership arrangements where all employees have direct input in the running of the business and in many cases own a share of the business. I don't see how these could be considered exploitive given that all involved are technically owners of the enterprise.

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Dingdongs

 

I mean, I don't think "most anarchists and communists accept the need to collaborate with Capitalist society to some degree merely to survive" is actually true.

Not as a permanent measure, no, but the overwhelming majority of those doing so in Western societies at least do indeed collaborate with Capitalist society to one degree or another, and given that they clearly have no ideological desire to do so one can only assume it's out of necessity. The aspiration is certainly to overthrow the system of capital and wage slavery but that system, let's be honest, isn't actually being actively overthrown and unless you live in a self-sufficient commune you are basically a collaborator, regardless of whether or not you want/aspire to be.

 

I would argue that even if you live in a commune you are a collaborator with the capitalist system since you enjoy the protection of whatever country you live in via emergency services, and even if you ignore them and have a communal fire hose, you still enjoy their military security just from being within their borders.

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CBH

You're actually not under their "military security", but endangered by their military.

They're an indirect threat in the way their imperialism incites terrorist retaliation. They're also a direct threat, in that they're happy to send a bunch of armed men to kick your ass if they want you off the land. Which is something that actually does happen, as any roma will tell you.

The police are nothing but an internally pointed army, after all.

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El Dildo

I've gotten around to reading the topic to date and several portions of the introductory anarchy FAQ from the first page. a lot of the discourse seems to weave its way around the notions of wage-slavery, organizational hierarchy, and their eventual eradication or - at the very least - their fundamental restructuring in terms of equitable profiteering.

 

so in terms of our current system of Western capitalism, is wage-slavery defined by simply anyone who receives a paycheck in a top-down fashion? or would it be more broadly defined by the degree of disparity between individual input and collective profit? if your wage provided your happiness and your liberty and your taxes provided lifetime support from a benevolent State are you really in slavery?

 

then in terms of a potential system of anarchy (in the future), would there not still exist various hierarchies that arise from natural functions? are there not necessary hierarchies which serve the purpose of maintaining basic social order? are hierarchies not required to provide discipline within certain aspects of labor or the community?

 

I want to go back to comments that have been passed over...

 

 

The truth of it is, if we're talking from a purely anarchist perspective, we're all living in sin. And, fundamentally, it's not a matter of degrees - by simply paying your rent you are contributing to the exploitation of others and the hierarchy. How does the aspiring anarchist account for this?

By understanding that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism, period.

god damnit MTD.

I love your answers but I really want you guys to f/cking elaborate for once :lol:

 

can you expand on this?

I mean, I hear you; there is no way to fairly consume under capitalism as we know it. but what does that mean for the anarchy which follows? anarchists must consume like capitalists must consume because human beings must consume to some extent as per survival. are we just going to reevaluate the rates of individual consumption or are we going to redefine what consumption actually means?

 

you're not going to tell me that there's no such thing as consuming under anarchy.

are you.

 

Sorry, I mean to ask - do you try to live a life somewhat outside of capitalism now, or are you biding time until it all burns down? :p

 

And this ties into your reply as well, Euty. Surely there must be ways to prove the functionality of anarchism by leading by example. Are there any big names out there, doing that now?

I really want to hear the follow-up to this query.

since no one really replied to Otter the first time.

 

I want to talk about theory but not if we don't also talk about practice.

you'll never get to implement the former without considering the latter. how are we eventually getting from here to there? I'd love to discuss the ways, large and small, in which people and societies can begin addressing or affecting the kind of change which could allow us to apply anarchy. the reason this sh/t doesn't happen until it's almost too late (and hopelessly bloody) is because we're still too comfortable.

 

for as f/cked up as the system is I just cannot afford to get myself arrested right now, trying to spark the fire that changes the world tomorrow. I love dreaming about where our theories might end but I'm too much of a realist to not also worry about how we're going to begin.

Edited by El Diablo

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Eutyphro

 

So even in the 'tertiary sector' where someone is 'selling my expertise'; when I don't own a part of, and have democratic control of, the place I work at, then essentially I'm a tool to those who pay me. Maybe a tool with a good salary, good working conditions etc.. Because of labor rights that have been established by popular movements, but essentially you are still a tool to those who own and run the place where you work at.

That depends entirely on the organisation, though. Some- in fact an ever increasing number of- small businesses are partnership arrangements where all employees have direct input in the running of the business and in many cases own a share of the business. I don't see how these could be considered exploitive given that all involved are technically owners of the enterprise.

 

Well that's great, and lets hope such a model will some day be applied even to people flipping burgers at McDonalds. It would be a major event of liberation.

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sivispacem

I'm a huge supporter of directly worker-run and true cooperative companies. Worked for a couple in the past.

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make total destroy

 

god damnit MTD.

I love your answers but I really want you guys to f/cking elaborate for once :lol:

 

can you expand on this?

I mean, I hear you; there is no way to fairly consume under capitalism as we know it. but what does that mean for the anarchy which follows? anarchists must consume like capitalists must consume because human beings must consume to some extent as per survival. are we just going to reevaluate the rates of individual consumption or are we going to redefine what consumption actually means?

 

you're not going to tell me that there's no such thing as consuming under anarchy.

are you.

 

I am not against consumption--as much as I hate the 'human nature' argument, it certainly applies there--but against exploitation. That is, I'm opposed to wage labor and, subsequently, commodity production. Nearly all labor within the existing is premised on exploitation. That is, a worker sells their labor power in exchange for a wage lower than the value they produce. This difference is called 'surplus value'. So, for example a worker in Haiti makes $0.50/hour producing Levis jeans that sell for $60. At the end of an hour, the worker has produced 3 pairs of jeans for an overall value of $180, but only walks away with a tiny fraction of that. Of course, this is a more extreme, simplistic example, but it can be applied to any socially necessary labor.

 

Or, if you'd prefer an explanation in comic form:

cartoon01.gif

 

Since nearly all products are derived from wage labor, and thus, exploitation, ethical consumption under capitalism is impossible.

 

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Raavi

In the current system, it's in the hand of the consumer. You definitely do have the choice and can choose to purchase ethically produced goods, but those tend to easily cost a decimal point to the right more. Which for most simply isn't feasible or for the more upwardly mobile, isn't worth it [insert joke about Capitalist desensitisation here]. There are however scenarios, usually when things go horridly awry on the production side of things, consumers start to question the process of non-ethically produced goods, which can have a quantifiable impact on sales, if only briefly.

 

Realistically for the near future save for robots taking over the entire process and/or stores start producing from their back rooms, "competitive pricing" which is the bread and butter of most $ and $$ retailers is only possible by skimping on something somewhere. Unfortunately human production is usually the level to do it. The why has as much to do with opportunity as anything else, when we're talking sweatshops, brick kilns and the like, we're often talking people who have 0 education, often times have no clue as to what their rights are, what their other options are or any inkling whatsoever of how to break free from from the exploitative circle they are born in. Needless to say these people are easy targets. It tends to take outside intervention, and any such intervention currently is nothing but a drop in the ocean.

 

It wil take some significant structural changes in places that aren't always the most open to change and where corruption is rife to improve this. Though as discussed previously at some point there won't be a lot of choice, when these processes can be fully automated more cost effectively, this type of labour will become obsolete in the not so very distant future. I just hope that before we reach that inevitable point we have moved to more ethical production process as the norm, and improved the situation for the people on the ground. Realistically hell has a better chance of freezing over, but one can hope for humanity.

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Clem Fandango

In the current system, it's in the hand of the consumer. You definitely do have the choice and can choose to purchase ethically produced goods, but those tend to easily cost a decimal point to the right more. Which for most simply isn't feasible or for the more upwardly mobile, isn't worth it [insert joke about Capitalist desensitisation here]. There are however scenarios, usually when things go horridly awry on the production side of things, consumers start to question the process of non-ethically produced goods, which can have a quantifiable impact on sales, if only briefly.

It's not 'ethical consumption' if it's within the Capitalist system at all. Under Capitalism, deprivation is used to force workers and consumers to make choices contrary to their own interests, and the system itself is built on inherently unjust systems of wage labour and the commodification of animals. That's what is meant by 'there is no ethical consumption under global Capitalism.'

 

You say power is ultimately the consumer, but in the same sentence concede that the majority of the population isn't financially capable of affecting the business practises of corporations with their spending habits, and that their consumption is controlled through deprivation?

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Dingdongs

What he's saying is, the average consumer doesn't want to pay for these ethical practices even if he could make a difference due to the cost involved. Why should a consumer go out of his way to find a product that is made by paying workers fairly, when doing that may cause him to go deep into debt or not be able to pay his bills?

 

Furthermore the problem with all of these theories is that not every business is running in an exploitive fashion. Take a supermarket. A supermarket runs on an extremely low profit margin, especially smaller chains. Are they really exploiting workers by paying minimum wage to 15-16 year old kids working the register? Not every corporation out there is operating like JP Morgan or Wal Mart..

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Tyler

What he's saying is, the average consumer doesn't want to pay for these ethical practices even if he could make a difference due to the cost involved. Why should a consumer go out of his way to find a product that is made by paying workers fairly, when doing that may cause him to go deep into debt or not be able to pay his bills?

 

Do you not see how the system is exploitative of all workers by pitting them against each other in an interdependent standard of dehumanization and profit margin above ethical consumption? Like this bit here alone displays how that happens, but you don't seem to want to admit it outright.

 

Or maybe you think it's okay that ethical practice is stymied for the good of the consumer, rather than abstract notions like the community?

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Clem Fandango

What he's saying is, the average consumer doesn't want to pay for these ethical practices even if he could make a difference due to the cost involved. Why should a consumer go out of his way to find a product that is made by paying workers fairly, when doing that may cause him to go deep into debt or not be able to pay his bills?

Yes, that's the whole point. That you shouldn't shift the responsibility onto consumers and away from big business. It's dystopian to expect consumers to keep corporations in check, we should just replace them with democratically run economic institutions that don't work against the interests of the wider society. Raavi is the one arguing that consumers are capable of affecting internal corporate policy to any meaningful degree.

 

 

 

Furthermore the problem with all of these theories is that not every business is running in an exploitive fashion. Take a supermarket. A supermarket runs on an extremely low profit margin, especially smaller chains. Are they really exploiting workers by paying minimum wage to 15-16 year old kids working the register?

Well, yes. No matter how thin their profit margins are (diddums!), they're still taking home several times what that kid on the register does, disproportionate to their contribution. I feel like you're trotting out some corn fed right-wing rhetoric about friendly mom and pop stores giving the local kids jobs to learn responsibility, but reality is more nuanced. What if that 16 year old kid is emancipated from their parents? They attend school so they'd have to work part time, how are they going to survive on $8 an hour and $90 a week from the government?

 

In Socialist theory, all industry that isn't run by workers, and where surplus value created doesn't belong to the workers, is exploitive. That 16 year old kid is part of the company but has no say in its running and isn't entitled to a fair share of the wealth produced. He's therefore removed from management of the enterprise, and is pretty much a cog in a machine. Workplaces should be democracies. Authority in the workplace- to anarchists- is no different to authority in the political sphere.

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Dingdongs

 

What he's saying is, the average consumer doesn't want to pay for these ethical practices even if he could make a difference due to the cost involved. Why should a consumer go out of his way to find a product that is made by paying workers fairly, when doing that may cause him to go deep into debt or not be able to pay his bills?

Do you not see how the system is exploitative of all workers by pitting them against each other in an interdependent standard of dehumanization and profit margin above ethical consumption? Like this bit here alone displays how that happens, but you don't seem to want to admit it outright.

 

Or maybe you think it's okay that ethical practice is stymied for the good of the consumer, rather than abstract notions like the community?

I do admit it outright, but I don't really see it as something that's an issue. The way I see it is, as long as that lower class has a real opportunity to work and educate their way out of that class using both socialist (subsidized education, free healthcare, unemployment benefits) and capitalist principles (work harder), then I don't have a problem. The unfortunate reality is that at least in the U.S., these lower classes don't have those opportunities to rise out of that, mostly due to too much capitalistm and not enough socialism.

 

Well, yes. No matter how thin their profit margins are (diddums!), they're still taking home several times what that kid on the register does, disproportionate to their contribution. I feel like you're trotting out some corn fed right-wing rhetoric about friendly mom and pop stores giving the local kids jobs to learn responsibility, but reality is more nuanced. What if that 16 year old kid is emancipated from their parents? They attend school so they'd have to work part time, how are they going to survive on $8 an hour and $90 a week from the government?

But most 16 year olds aren't emancipated and if they were, are eligible for government help in that case. I'm not talking about Mom and Pop teaching little Frank how to become responsible. I'm saying that not everybody provides an equally valuable service to a corporation. Little Frank at the register is highly expendable. Any jackass can do that. The middle managers who have experience stacking up protocols in their stores, the buyers who have the connections and proper skill to negotiate rates of products to sell in the supermarkets, the finance people who have the skill to keep the money flowing in, the security people, those are not expendable people like a clerk at the register. That's just how it works... I want a society where the kid at the register can work to become better than just a kid at the register if he so chooses, and those resources will be readily available for him. Not one that says oh you work at a register and handle 70,000 dollars worth of goods a week so here's your 70 grand kiddo. Edited by Irviding

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Otter

Why should a consumer go out of his way to find a product that is made by paying workers fairly

Because otherwise, we are supporting slavery. Which is a sad but unavoidable truth. This is the part where the anarchist cry to tear it all down actually seems like the only viable way to overcome such a massive disparity in living conditions.

 

We're all complicit in the system, whether we buy ethical-ish products or not. People should never be reduced to factors in an equation for production - not in a free world.

 

It's all very depressing.

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Tyler

The unfortunate reality is that at least in the U.S., these lower classes don't have those opportunities to rise out of that, mostly due to too much capitalistm and not enough socialism.

 

That much we agree on. Although the proportions of which we like are perhaps a little discrepant :p

 

Anyhow, what do you make of international efforts to organize socialism? Do you think the U.S. or other governing bodies who have the global influence and ability should work to cultivate socialist nations? Or are you more isolationist when it comes to proposing model standards of living. I think it is interesting how divergent these questions can make people who otherwise agree on things. There is a large divide between people who want what is best for their nation first, and everyone else second. I wonder what you would make of that.

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Clem Fandango

But most 16 year olds aren't emancipated and if they were, are eligible for government help in that case. I'm not talking about Mom and Pop teaching little Frank how to become responsible. I'm saying that not everybody provides an equally valuable service to a corporation. Little Frank at the register is highly expendable. Any jackass can do that. The middle managers who have experience stacking up protocols in their stores, the buyers who have the connections and proper skill to negotiate rates of products to sell in the supermarkets, the finance people who have the skill to keep the money flowing in, the security people, those are not expendable people like a clerk at the register. That's just how it works... I want a society where the kid at the register can work to become better than just a kid at the register if he so chooses, and those resources will be readily available for him. Not one that says oh you work at a register and handle 70,000 dollars worth of goods a week so here's your 70 grand kiddo.

 

You're not getting it. It might be a role that is of subjectively low importance, but the person performing it is part of the firm, and should therefore be entitled to participate in a democratic decision making process. It's an injustice if you work in an enterprise but have no say in how your job is performed and how the firm operates more broadly, in terms of its image, business practises, ethics or whatever. Why should we be removed from that process while it's carried out by a small cabal of administrators motivated by their own class interests?

 

 

 

The way I see it is, as long as that lower class has a real opportunity to work and educate their way out of that class using both socialist (subsidized education, free healthcare, unemployment benefits) and capitalist principles (work harder), then I don't have a problem. The unfortunate reality is that at least in the U.S., these lower classes don't have those opportunities to rise out of that, mostly due to too much capitalistm and not enough socialism.

No, I disagree. Social problems reduce in severity relative to inequality, but they still exist wherever inequality does. As I said before, you can turn the US into Canada if you want, but I think we should be concerned with building a more ideal society for us and our descendants.

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Eutyphro

In the current system, it's in the hand of the consumer. You definitely do have the choice and can choose to purchase ethically produced goods, but those tend to easily cost a decimal point to the right more. Which for most simply isn't feasible or for the more upwardly mobile, isn't worth it [insert joke about Capitalist desensitisation here]. There are however scenarios, usually when things go horridly awry on the production side of things, consumers start to question the process of non-ethically produced goods, which can have a quantifiable impact on sales, if only briefly.

 

Sadly, with most products it is impossible. Take this as an example: http://www.tonyschocolonely.com/en/about-us/100-slave-free-timeline/

It is a chocolate producer (Tony’s Chocolonely) that came about as a reaction to the fact that all other chocolate producers still used cocoa produced by slave labor, eventhough they marketed their products as slave free, and often asked higher prices along with this claim. Then they were sued:

 

"Bellissimo, a Swiss chocolate producer, sues Tony’s Chocolonely, claiming that “slave-free chocolate is impossible to produce”. They also claim that Tony’s is damaging the reputation of other chocolate producers. Fear not, justice is served. The court rules in our favour. However, we do adjust the “slave-free” logo for all our chocolate bars. From now on we’re on “the road to 100% slave-free chocolate” to underscore our ambition to make not just our own, but all the world’s chocolate slave-free. If we ever achieve this goal, we’ll change the logo back, we promise."

 

So concerning chocolate, there is consensus that being sure you are buying slave free chocolate is impossible. And we are actually talking about slavery here, we are not talking about what MTD's comment is about, about low skilled laborers not receiving wages anywhere near the value they create, and thus capitalism in general being fundamentally based on exploitation.

 

we're often talking people who have 0 education, often times have no clue as to what their rights are, what their other options are or any inkling whatsoever of how to break free from from the exploitative circle they are born in. Needless to say these people are easy targets. It tends to take outside intervention, and any such intervention currently is nothing but a drop in the ocean.

 

I disagree. I think the lower class should organize and demand these rights themselves. I'm unsure about what you mean with 'outside intervention', but considering you characterize it as a process where rights are not demanded from below, I interpret it as rights being granted from above. Rights being granted from above is a naive illusion.. Those with an interest in keeping things as they are, are not to be expected to change things as they are.

 

Change can only come from the majority of people who live in a society where they are either a tool, or redundant and thrown in jail, to those in control of the most significant amount of private property, like in the US where the top 1% owns 40% of all wealth. Those who own most and are in control, are not going to change society. If anything, they'll create an unstable economy, like the US economy (or the EU for that matter), and shift the burden to the lower class everytime it collapses, and cut their benefits and make them pay for the bailouts. Paul Krugman points that out, that elites see economic crises as an opportunity to push through 'reforms' (austerity) they want. So what you've seen in recent years, is that an unstable economy can actually be in elite interest.

Edited by Eutyphro

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Otter

Even the 'tools' in North America are lords compared to the overseas masses we routinely exploit. How do they invoke change, I have to wonder.

 

But this leads me to my original questions regarding survival in a post-capitalist world - we'd all better learn to feed ourselves.

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make total destroy

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Dingdongs

 

You're not getting it. It might be a role that is of subjectively low importance, but the person performing it is part of the firm, and should therefore be entitled to participate in a democratic decision making process. It's an injustice if you work in an enterprise but have no say in how your job is performed and how the firm operates more broadly, in terms of its image, business practises, ethics or whatever. Why should we be removed from that process while it's carried out by a small cabal of administrators motivated by their own class interests?

 

No, I disagree. Social problems reduce in severity relative to inequality, but they still exist wherever inequality does. As I said before, you can turn the US into Canada if you want, but I think we should be concerned with building a more ideal society for us and our descendants.

 

 

I'm getting it, I just find the idea completely preposterous... at least the way I understand it. Why should some cashier have equal say in the direction of a firm as the experts who went to business school and have experience running the firm? That's just nonsensical to me. Unless you mean the lower levels of the company should be able to organize and have a say in things like hours, wages, break times, duties performed (you can't make the cashier also clean the bathroom), I think that's a great idea... and we already have that in a lot of places, called unions. Unfortunately they are falling apart.

 

Inequality is not the cause of all social problems. You can trace a lot of problems to inequality, but the idea that you remove inequality and you end up with a utopia is just flat out silly.

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Eutyphro

Mtd, maybe cut out the spamming a bit man..

Even the 'tools' in North America are lords compared to the overseas masses we routinely exploit.

Except for maybe the massive inmate population (the largest ratio wise in relation to the entire population in any country ever in history) labouring for a 'wage' between 25 cents and a dollar an hour.

Edited by Eutyphro

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make total destroy

aight

 

 

EDIT: Drunk posts ^

Edited by make total destroy

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Clem Fandango

Anarchism is balls because it suggests that once you overthrow the state you can snap your fingers and proceed into full communism immediately. That you can just stand on a soapbox and go "we've killed the Tsar! We're in communism now!" without having people who don't care about you forming their own state or continuing capitalist relations.

 

Then of course they realize that they're going to have to organize at least enough to defend their territory from those evil vanguardist statists, and ooops, they just accidentally a state and a vanguard party.

 

That aside I do appreciate that outside of full on revolutions, Anarchists are often very good at organizing working people. That's a skill that first world MLs seem to have lost decades ago.

 

What I most definitely don't like is the way the more vulgar anarchists (and trots) consider themselves the only "real" socialists. Not only do they refuse to acknowledge prior and current socialist countries, they denounce them. There's no study of them as models of socialism, and no understanding of their positive aspects. USSR ended illiteracy and brought civil rights and indoor plumbing to over 100 major and minor nationalities? Doesn't matter because BUT STALIN THO. So positive aspects of prior socialism are reinvented out of deliberate ignorance.

 

Feeding into that is a tendency to accept everything capitalists say about those socialist states at face value. "The different strain of socialism is bad! I know because someone opposed to all socialism told me so!". Confirmation bias in action.

 

Though I feel it's the other way around. People attempt to reconcile a lifetime of western anticommunist indoctrination with their realization that class war is true. Unlearning things is very hard, after all. If I were CIA I'd think this sort of behavior was a miracle.

lol, stow the condescending attitude. You generally come off as somewhat pathetic, having a deep understanding of Capitalism, but adhering to every single bit of Soviet dogma 20 years after the Soviet Union fell, so I'm not sure where you get off looking down your nose at anarchists.

 

Anarchism is a natural trend in human development, and as a political movement: an organic product of the working class press and organised labour. 'Lenninism' is just an attempt to justify the creation of an authoritarian state and a new political elite, while crushing worker self-organisation and obliterating Libertarian-Socialism. Maybe that's why, despite your claims of Lenninism 'lighting up the third world' and enjoying public support in Britain, most people consider Tankies to be a kind of weird urban anomaly.

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Clem Fandango

Unless you mean the lower levels of the company should be able to organize and have a say in things like hours, wages, break times, duties performed

Well, that's part of it, but people should have a say in setting the parameters of their job more broadly. The division of labour in the firm shouldn't be sorted by a corporate elite and handed down to us from on high, our roles should be created organically. Exactly what you're expected to do in a day should be up for discussion. As a parallel: 50 years ago the domestic division of labour was rigidly predetermined, now (most of us, at least) take for granted that we should divide responsibilities ourselves on a human level. I'm not talking about a one-on-one negotiation with the firm mind, I'm talking about jobs and their parameters being defined by convention in large scale democratic decision making.

 

 

 

 

I'm getting it, I just find the idea completely preposterous... at least the way I understand it. Why should some cashier have equal say in the direction of a firm as the experts who went to business school and have experience running the firm? That's just nonsensical to me.

I think the issue is that you can't distinguish between hierarchal relations, and organically produced, voluntarily recognised authority within a group. I wouldn't suggest that some kid who works into a store should have as much of a role in managing the firm as the more senior and specialised workers, but they should be involved in the process of determining how the firm functions in aesthetic, ethical and economic terms. They should consent to the firm's way of functioning internally and interacting with broader society through a process of synthesis and discussion.

 

Societies naturally have the expectation that their members should contribute, anarchists believe that notion should be held in tandem with the belief that contributing to society should be fulfilling, and that you should have autonomy and proportional, democratic control over the enterprise. These values are taken for granted in the political sphere. You wouldn't suggest that your or I's status as just some guy should disqualify us from voting, for example.

 

Anyway, this isn't theoretical, as we have myriad examples of worker owned business in the current system. You can go get a job on the assembly line at a factory and make important decisions with the rest of the firm. You can challenge the CEO (who normally makes us much as you do) on his decisions. What you're bringing up is largely empirical, and has answers.

Edited by Melchior

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Dingdongs
Well, that's part of it, but people should have a say in setting the parameters of their job more broadly. The division of labour in the firm shouldn't be sorted by a corporate elite and handed down to us from on high, our roles should be created organically. Exactly what you're expected to do in a day should be up for discussion. As a parallel: 50 years ago the domestic division of labour was rigidly predetermined, now (most of us, at least) take for granted that we should divide responsibilities ourselves on a human level. I'm not talking about a one-on-one negotiation with the firm mind, I'm talking about jobs and their parameters being defined by convention in large scale democratic decision making.

But if you had a fully working union system then those jobs won't be sorted by a "corporate elite". The idea that every business is somehow shaped by some elite corporate evildoers is just naive. Unions do provide that democratic decision making when they work correctly... it's called union elections, voting in leaders in the union that will fight to make sure the guy that packs out the frozen food section of the supermarket isn't also cleaning the bathroom. Can you go into detail about what exactly you're saying here by using an example? All of what you're saying is so broad and hard to quantify in reality. How would that work for a supermarket chain or department store?

 

 

 

I think the issue is that you can't distinguish between hierarchal relations, and organically produced, voluntarily recognised authority within a group. I wouldn't suggest that some kid who works into a store should have as much of a role in managing the firm as the more senior and specialised workers, but they should be involved in the process of determining how the firm functions in aesthetic, ethical and economic terms. They should consent to the firm's way of functioning internally and interacting with broader society through a process of synthesis and discussion.

What does this mean in reality? Not trying to be a dick, seriously, I don't get how the kid working the register in a supermarket is going to be able to realistically "Determine how the firm functions in aesthetic, ethical, and economic terms".

 

 

 

Societies naturally have the expectation that their members should contribute, anarchists believe that notion should be held in tandem with the belief that contributing to society should be fulfilling, and that you should have autonomy and proportional, democratic control over the enterprise. These values are taken for granted in the political sphere. You wouldn't suggest that your or I's status as just some guy should disqualify us from voting, for example.

 

Anyway, this isn't theoretical, as we have myriad examples of worker owned business in the current system. You can go get a job on the assembly line at a factory and make important decisions with the rest of the firm. You can challenge the CEO (who normally makes us much as you do) on his decisions. What you're bringing up is largely empirical, and has answers.

Worker owned firms are great and do exist, you're right. But not in the way you describe. My father is an executive in a NY supermarket chain and started at age 16 packing out a dog food aisle. It's a privately owned company where the workers own stock of the company, and all have "a say". People below the level of store manager are represented by a union. I just don't get what you're proposing in reality. How should a company be ran? Anything, supermarket, electronics store, department store, whatever?

 

Edited by Irviding

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