From:   Snafu <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, November 09, 2011 7:07:14 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: OWS: Yes, we are anti-capitalist!

Shaista I am not making a Malthusian argument here. On the contrary, I

just stated that capitalism relies on a constant expansion of the world

population to increase production-consumption and, yes, the workforce



Rob, John a system can never be truly democratic if predicated upon

massive inequality in the distribution of wealth. Those who own the most

will always a louder voice than those who own less. The Supreme Court

has candidly ratified this fact by defining corporate donations to

political candidates as free speech (i.e. who owns the most speaks the



So the struggle for democracy has to go hand-in-hand with the struggle

for social and economic justice. And if you want to attack the problem

at the root you have to take *some* resources off the market and manage

them in common. The main difference with state socialism being that this

system would be highly decentralized. Yet in a world that is highly

interdependent and globalized some resources cannot be simply managed

locally. Take the Amazon, the lungs of the earth. Given the global

importance of this resource should its management left to local

companies and populations? If not, what kind of alternative resources

can be provided to Brazilians so that they may not cut the forest for

their livelihood? The same goes for the Delaware River Basin and the

property rights of upstate landowners to lease their land to fracking

companies. What kind of alternative resources can be provided to

impoverished farmers so that they may use the waters wisely?


When you begin thinking at this level of scale, the question of the

commons gets complicated because many resources--including energy

production--are not locally bound. Yet these issues can be tackled much

better when the interested parties are not driven by the profit motive

but try and solve their conflicts (which won't end in a post-capitalist

society) on the basis of their reproductive needs. A system driven by

profit such as capitalism rewards the most primitive instincts in human

nature. A communal system of management would be predicated upon the

preservation and reproduction of the common good.


On 11/9/11 12:06 AM, shaista husain wrote:

> Rob, despite all my disagreements with you--i must say here you are

> correct--- Snafu i like your ideas but to underlie your ideas with a

> natural law of scarcity --this is the easiest and first polemic marx

> destroyed-- of the conservative malthusian economists... the reserve

> army of labor is popular control that is peculiar to the capitalist

> mode of production.

> "The error of Malthus and the classical economists was to focus their

> analysis of capital accumulation and its effects upon specific sectors

> of production instead of looking at the relationship between total

> social capital and the total labor force. This perspective leads them

> to confuse the laws that regulate that general ratio with the laws

> which regulate the allocation of specific sectors of the labor force

> to specific sectors of production (Marx, 1970:638-639).


> On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 11:41 PM, rob hollander<> wrote:

>> I like Andy's tiger. You remove the tiger's teeth -- and be very careful not

>> to forget to declaw him too -- but let him keep his legs under your harness

>> and his hunger.


>> Which leads to the anti-hunger Malthusianism that the green movement has

>> managed to legitimize. I don't see that Malthusianism is any more true now

>> than it was when it first appeared. I would not underestimate the ingenuity

>> of human invention, if only it were cultivated with quality education

>> accessible to all, instead of for just the few, and turned to human

>> problems, rather than to corporate interests. There is the place for big

>> government where capital falls short, and that's a notion older than

>> socialism, it's the social contract. It's also called democracy -- making

>> your gov't work for everyone.


>> The answer to rapacious capitalism has got to be democracy. That's what OWS

>> seems to be at bottom all about. We've got a plutocracy of thieves, it

>> doesn't work for us, we've had enough of it; we want our government back.


>> I do agree with snafu that capitalism is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. But what

>> happens when you call out a Ponzi scheme? Everyone is left destitute.


>> I like the commons notion. There's something Georgist in it -- pool the

>> social resources including all land. Georgism doesn't cure capitalism, but

>> it wouldn't hurt.


>> On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 11:00 PM, Lauren<> wrote:

>>> What alternative has even been allowed to run unimpeded?


>>> Socialism? Social-capitalism is merely a stopgap to make the european

>>> and latin american working class shut up.


>>> Communism? Communism in Russia died in 1921. Maoism is confucianism

>>> with a coat of red paint.


>>> Anarchism? Yes, I guess being beaten by the combined might of Hitler,

>>> Stalin, Mussolini and Franco, despite there being a war between each

>>> other, could count as an objective measurement of failure, assuming

>>> that your ethical standards are those of a jackbooted thug.


>>> Where is the success of capitalism in Africa? Why do we keep being

>>> reminded about the kulaks, but never about the millions who died

>>> during the rubber boom, never about the millions who died during the

>>> dust bowl, never about the millions who died because of Britain's

>>> laissez-mourir approach to famines in India, Ireland, Africa?


>>> Capitalist wealth is the wealth of empire. It's the illusion brought

>>> about by concentration, by homogenization of societies that used to be

>>> heterogenous even there; wealthy countries with wealthy regions with

>>> wealthy cities with wealthy neighborhoods. Hey, some of the country

>>> doesn't have electricity and running water? It's okay, we have

>>> billionaires in the capital who are really enjoying the success of

>>> capitalism.


>>> </rant>


>> --

>> Rob Hollander

>> Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development


>> 622 E 11, #10

>> NYC, 10009

>> 212-228-6152