Originally posted by JR MacBeth
I think we agree that the "worker" who can ante-up wouldn't exactly be a "worker" anymore. It wasn't supposed to be merely "circular"
reasoning, it was deliberately absurd, to point out the absurdity in the socialist myth of "workers owning the means of production".
I mean, insofar as we use English to communicate, I suppose semantics will get in the way. Perhaps "owner-operator" would be a better word to use
instead of "worker". Just because you put something in an absurd tone or use sarcasm, does not mean it is absurd - that is a device for making an
argument and I got that.
It's actually even more absurd than that, as you seem to see as well. It's true that the factory does not just appear to begin with. Which should
really make us ponder about how such a thing as a "factory" could even come about, in an idealized socialist utopia.
I'm not sure what you mean by all of this. Is it so absurd that the same manual labor and tools that go towards the directed construction of a
for-profit, individually- or corporate owned factory could go towards the construction of a factory that would then be owned by the very people who
built it? Why is this exclusive to capital control only? If I really wanted to, I could get 300 like-minded individuals together and make a factory
tomorrow, for whatever purpose.
In that the material framework of capitalism is extant, yes, there would be no need to build factories (except perhaps here in America where they all
seem to have magically been transported to the third world by Friedman, the faerie godfather of neoliberalism). The factories that do exist should be
made use of in a transition, it would be wasteful not to.
In fact, factories really do not just spring up, history shows that they are routinely CONFISCATED in communist / socialist regimes. Because as we
fine-tune the fantasy, it wasn't "exactly" workers "owning" the means of production, all they needed to do was to control the means, in order to
(supposedly) benefit "fairly" (choke). And it's pretty easy to control the means of production, at the end of a rifle.
You mention a "wasteful capitalist system" that "creates buildings for no purpose"... It looks like you're "building" the straw man here. No
one really creates buildings for "no purpose", not unless we're concerned with artistic pursuits, but even there, the art itself is the rational,
even for an utterly absurd and non-utilitarian creation.
No straw man, just reality. What was the housing bubble, if not partially the creation of a glut of structures with no real purpose. Yes, we can argue
that when one builds a house, one intends for that house to be occupied. But, as can clearly be seen, in the supply chain and labor chain of
production, homes are built without the express necessity on the part of the construction company or financier that they be occupied. This is even
more emphatically supported by wealthy developers, such as Donald Trump, who sells his "brand" (a hallow shell of a product - a cognitive deception,
really) and then when the project goes belly up or has some other issue, he is protected because Trump the physical person is not Trump the
Corporation (ironically, Latin for "embodiment").
I live in South Florida...outside of Las Vegas, I think I know what I can see with my own eyes. And my eyes see a lot of unfinished construction
projects, unoccupied completed projects, and derelict previously used buildings. Interestingly, there is high unemployment and people complain about
jobs being offshored. Any one of those abandoned and neglected blights could be used tomorrow for either housing in the case of residential or working
in the case of commercial/industrial. But someone owns them who is waiting for the building to "have a purpose" so it is worth more money.
Interestingly, I may see what you're trying to get at perhaps. In a "capitalist" system, it does seem that things are periodically built, that
seemingly do not manage to find tenants. A couple things going on here. First, it's entirely possible that there is the foul creature who has more
money than brains. But usually, that's not what we see.
In the US, we are currently going through an ugly economic disruption that seems to have inflated real estate at it's epicenter. They call it a
"bubble". Whole neighborhoods of semi-abandoned buildings. Some areas hit harder than others, but something certainly went wrong.
This is not temporal. This is a long time comin', as they say. Detroit and New Orleans were just harbingers. I've lived in the so-called third world
and I can tell you what to expect if you'd like to listen. I don't know your economic status, but I know mine and it's what you'd call lower
middle-class. Better than working poor, but only because I live with relatives. I'd like to fix that, but I know that middle class is not an easy
club to enter right now and most people have hunkered down who will survive this transition (the transition from the US the way we previously
conceived of it to it's new globalist status as thirdworld enclave). Those not in the middle class will not be getting into it easily and the middle
class itself with have to undergo a radical shift in self-perception and many in it will soon find a new strange limbo between working poor and middle
What went wrong? SOCIALISM. Same song, but socialists play a fun game of pin the tail on the capitalist!
Mortgage backed securities is socialism? They should never have torn down the regulation between investment banking and mortgages. That was a bad
Personally, I find it repugnant that anyone should have to live in a high rise tenement or dumpy apartment block. And then, as a society, we wonder
what exactly goes wrong with "those people". You cannot solve one problem and then avoid the others, that is why I bring this up here. There is no
way to look at the mortgage issue without analyzing the social flaw in mortgages to begin with.
It is 100% unreasonable that any human being born into this world should be denied their own land to live on. And while I agree that communal living
is optimal because we are social creatures, there needs to be some attempt other than "rent-controlled" apartments and publicly funded (those that
haven't been "gentrified") welfare housing (aka projects). That is bs. And I'm not just talking about the ghetto, I'm talking about trailer parks
and other versions of third-world slums as re-envisioned in this country.
See, my view is that a person has rights and despite whatever strange techno-social framework we've created over the century, the fetus is born into
this world with some natural contract that needs to be obliged.
It's very confusing I think for the average person, who is caught up in official rhetoric, and decades of lies, to see what the reality
I've shaken the rhetoric. That is why I don't toe the Democratic party line like I did back when I first became politically aware. I'm not going to
sit and defend socialism, because I've read too much Marx, Bakunin, Freire, Chomsky and DeBord to be 100% in the boat.
I know that State Socialism is not the saving grace, that is for sure, because it is just the inverse of State Capitalism. Really, it's just the
angle you view it from:
State Socialism: Government controls the means of production - Cronie-ism and a Bureaucrat class will take advantage of the system by placing
themselves high up on the ladder in the state-run factories and plants.
State Capitalism: The Private sector controls the means of production through contracts with the Federal, State and Municipal governments. Again,
Cronie-ism and a Boardroom cabal will take advantage of the system, paying off the politicians to secure bids through middle men (lobbyists).
Same thing, different perspective.
For example, the United States is often considered a bastion of Capitalism. I wonder how many might agree. The fact is, the USA is the world's most
powerful COMMUNIST nation. I would suggest looking elsewhere for examples of supposed "capitalist failure".
Not at all. How exactly do you see us as communist?? There are no communes. The USSR was not communist (Union of Soviet Socialist
i.e., state socialism, i.e., state capitalism). Workers have no control here, if they did, you would not be seeing factories in China making crap to
be sold at Walmart where people earn poverty salaries.
And yet, "capitalism" has failed, just as socialism has failed.
I won't go into it, this thread is about promoting communism, so let's not muck it up with facts.
You seem to "have a dream", where "100 - 200" people might build something from "scratch", and then proceed to sell the things they produce at a
"reasonable" (?) cost, and then apparently (somehow) finding a "fair" way to divvy up "what was made" (the word is "profits", and it's not a
Profit is what is made over and above the real cost of making a product. If it costs overhead for the building (electricity, water, etc.), paying the
labor and securing the raw materials, I don't see why any price must be set beyond the operational needs. You might say, "how can my 100-200 friends
be trusted to settle on the exact, correct price?" Well, I would imagine that when you are making things in the community where you live, for the
community where you live that you would not want to treat your neighbors usuriously. Do unto others, right?
Setting aside the massive problems with trite notions such as "fair", and "reasonable", I think it is to your credit that you foresee the
potential problem of "laziness".
Not really sure I like your solutions though, sorry to say. You would have the offender "castigated", in the hopes that their "laziness" (tough
one to define of course) would be "deterred."
Hmmm. I'm not sure I would like working for you (er, I mean, "me", er, I mean, "us"...ah, whatever. Guess I would just be "shamed" or
something, perhaps into latrine duty??)
Yes. Sounds just lovely.
Maybe a poor choice of words, I'm not talking about a corporal punishment system or a form of demotion, like latrine duty.
Then again, wasn't it Marx who said the assembly line system has detached the worker from his creation, away from the creator of an artisinal craft
and reduced to nothing but a drone doing a repetitive task.
The thought would be that, rather than going to IKEA for some semi-built product, partially put together in Thailand or China, a person who had skill
with wood working would make the whole chair from scratch. I know, I know, the argument is that then things go slower and are more costly. But then
people have jobs, chairs last generations, not three or four years until it chips or warps or breaks and then you send it out to the street corner to
be salvaged by some lowly scrapper or disposed of by your city's bulk service.
I'm looking at a nice, strong hutch made by a factory in upstate New York, sometime in the 30s apparently and it is very sturdy and still works the
way it was intended. Meanwhile, a dresser that my family and I picked out a year ago at IKEA is already breaking, just like the sagging bookcase I
bought at target 3 years ago. For me, it's an obvious answer.