From:   shaista husain <shaistahusain@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:29:18 AM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Re: OWS: Yes, we are anti-capitalist!
 

Dearest Snafu,
Thanks for pointing out the dilemma of working 'only' at the local level--i couldn't agree with you more. In Costa Rica, if i remember correctly, implemented a national program for reforestation and the World Bank did not really play a big role or fund this --i was wondering what your opinion was on Costa Rican model which i believe has been quite a successful national campaign. (Also Costa Rica abolished its military army)
Please elaborate-- when you say:
We need a Federal Legislative Framework that takes some resources off the market by declaring them common goods' 
Peace,
Shaista


On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 10:39 AM, Snafu <snafu@thething.it> wrote:
> Dearest Shaista, thank you for clarifying that the real enemy in Brazil is
> the corporations, not the indigenous population. When I said "how can we
> provide alternative resources to local populations" (in the Amazon as well
> as upstate NY) I meant to say that unfortunately corporations offer these
> populations very immediate rewards for leasing or selling their property
> rights. If the community or the state is unable or unwilling to provide
> alternative sources of livelihood, corporations can easily divide and
> conquer. This is what is happening right now upstate NY where the gas
> companies are offering a lot of money to farmers who are in desperate need.
> This has created deep rifts in the community and puts environmental
> activists in a difficult spot, as you cannot simply say "don't sell" to
> someone who is unemployed and has to pay a mortgage. This of course leads to
> the larger question of why are these farmers so desperate, which is in turn
> related to the globalization of agri-business and the general crisis of
> small farms.
>
> Thus when we approach a potential politics of the commons we are first
> fascinated by the fact that the commons seems a very sensible solution.
> Commons are finite resources that can be managed locally by a community of
> prod-users. But then we quickly find out that recreating commons in regions
> where the land has been privatized is extremely difficult because so many
> conflicting interests are at play. Hence you cannot tackle this issue by
> only thinking and acting at a local level. I believe *we need a federal
> legislative framework that takes some resources off the market by declaring
> them common goods.* This could be a unifying objective-campaign for the
> Occupy movement... once we get rid of this obsession that demands are
> pointless or divisive.
>
> On 11/9/11 12:27 PM, shaista husain wrote:
>>
>> Dearest Snafu, thank you for your clarification, (phew!)
>> Our Commons: the Planet Earth is nothing but a common dump and
>> wasteland of the most toxic substances ever conceived.
>> The fear is not that individuals will take what they can from the
>> Commons, as you point out (eg how many trees a tribesman can cut down,
>> how many fish an individual can fish in a given day) but the
>> corporations who not only TAKE what they want, but DUMP their putrid
>> wastes into our air and water.
>> One can not have "COMMONS" in one nation only, like 'socialism in one
>> nation'--we have learned our bitter lessons--not all who died and
>> fought valiantly for revolution thought any different from us when
>> they began. Today, we have a whole century of failures and the ability
>> to revisit our historical tragedies with lucidity and sobriety, this
>> our historical blessing and never return to those models. Some folks
>> fall into cyclical temporalities believe everything is doomed to
>> repetition, and the other temporal fallacies is that there a certain
>> future, some model that we will eventually arrive at if only
>> x..y..z.., this inductive reasoning is both hegelian and kantian or
>> religious thinking. Both are incorrect, we have to look at the past in
>> order to produce solutions for the future that will not repeat
>> themselves. This kind of clarity of thinking today is only found in
>> the marxist philosophers, in that it offers liberation from the
>> conundrum of history in the attempt to construct a future that is
>> neither promised but created and forged out of proper archeology of
>> knowledge. (derrida, bergson, deleuze guaatari--obsessed with
>> postmodern repititions--i will save this argument for another
>> day...and old school kantians hegelians and heiddegarians about the
>> categorical future imperatives...)
>> So, folks, let us not confuse marxism with the Thermidor of
>> centralized gov't, kangaroo trials and top down bureaucracy. We are
>> also allowed to consider the idea that revolution is possible
>> "without" armed struggle ie. Leninism, Maoism etc. This is another
>> fallacy that people impose of marxism, assuming all marxists are
>> proponents of armed struggle. I do not discount Lenin or Trotsky or
>> Mao's writings, they lived within their historical limitations and
>> necessities..no, but allow me to plug in here, one of the earliest
>> proponents of decentralized and non-violent revolution was Rosa
>> Luxembourg, less known in her day, but her understanding of Marx and
>> her poetical writings, exemplify a most profound elaboration on the
>> expansion of capitalism into new unequal markets, ie. imperialism
>> which is our fact of life today, a century later.
>> As this article attempts to formulate, but also fails as Andy pointed
>> out, by red baiting the WWP (who by the way were not stalinist as this
>> author gossips, but trotskyist and later maoist) so YES, there is a a
>> great need to recuperate and subject an unbiased analysis, to begin
>> again without prejudice and never ever to assume a question as
>> exhausted no matter how simple or complex. We must and can do better
>> with the best theories at our disposal.
>>
>> The main problem today, i believe, are conspiracy theories type
>> thinking, characterized most forcefully by the right wing. folks who
>> blame individual "errant capitalists" for our global problems and
>> propose as a solution some messianic figure like Ron Paul who has all
>> the answers. But why stop there, that is too easy, it is not just the
>> Ron Pauls or right wing (fascists like to blame certain people, ie,
>> Jews or Muslims) Unfortunately, some of our most profound theorists
>> too, in our ossified economic depts at our top universities fall into
>> this paradigm, albeit not as perniciously, into the notion that we can
>> save capitalism or "eqilibriate" capitalism, or just bring forth
>> "capitalism with a human face." Sorry to be so trite, but it always
>> returns to the same question: REFORM or REVOLUTION? let us look
>> carefully at this question, and be careful, just because you are so
>> GUNG HO, and scream revolution!!, doesn't necessarily mean you know
>> what you are talking about--and i speak to myself too--i have noticed
>> that the right wing screams out much much louder than we can. We
>> should rather carefully examine this question and whisper our
>> solutions with careful sobriety ask fellow comrades to re-visit this
>> age old question again and again as we set forth...
>>
>> Please folks, when someone disagrees, let us not call them "leeches"
>> or "infiltrators" or "irrational" this kind of suspicious
>> fearmongering is what is wrong with all of us on the left and similar
>> to the tactics of the right wing, they really believe that replacing a
>> few individuals with "good" individuals (themselves or messianic
>> leader) is the solution to the worlds problems and only they know it,
>> because as elitists, they don't believe the public has a clue about
>> its own oppression and is powerless. That is why the obsession with
>> leaking and hidden knowledge that only certain people have, the rest
>> of us are stupid. Let us stop red-baiting, as Andrew pointed out
>> earlier--establishing such a a historical precedence--a methodology-an
>> ethics---will enable us to never make the same mistakes that are the
>> central features of the counter-revolution and deepest failures of the
>> left.
>>
>> Sorry to go off on a tangent folks
>> Peace and Love,
>> Shaista
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM, rob hollander<lesrrd@gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>
>>> Snafu -- the answer to corporate control over a "democracy" is ... a
>>> social
>>> protest movement like OWS!
>>> It's sort of like "90% of success is just showing up."
>>> But the consequences of a movement can go in any direction, favorable or
>>> otherwise.
>>>
>>> I agree about resources. If some forms of exploitation are taken off the
>>> table by enforced law, the need will find its way for other forms of
>>> exploitation which may be less dangerous -- or more. That's the long
>>> history
>>> of legislation. Good legislation should recognize a need and facilitate
>>> satisfying it while protect adverse consequences.
>>>
>>> But a shift from an expansion economic model requires a global shift.
>>> Look
>>> at what happened with the Occupy Wall Street trademark. OWS didn't pursue
>>> the capitalist model, and some entrepreneur tried to trademark it,
>>> recognizing that someone or other would do it eventually.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM, Snafu<snafu@thething.it>  wrote:
>>>>
>>>> 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
>>>> reservoir.
>>>>
>>>> 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 most).
>>>>
>>>> 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<lesrrd@gmail.com>  
>>>>>  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<celliwig@gmail.com>    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
>>>>>> http://savethelowereastside.blogspot.com/
>>>>>> 622 E 11, #10
>>>>>> NYC, 10009
>>>>>> 212-228-6152
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Rob Hollander
>>> Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
>>> http://savethelowereastside.blogspot.com/
>>> 622 E 11, #10
>>> NYC, 10009
>>> 212-228-6152
>>>
>>>
>
>

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