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View Diary: The Allure of Selling Out (41 comments)

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  •  Contender regimes with command economies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, Bob Guyer

    might as well be capitalist.  Tony Cliff called it "state capitalism."

    "This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s." -- Matt Stoller

    by Cassiodorus on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:18:56 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  OK. Large scale governance is a problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, cynndara

      to convert to sustainability.

      The tragedy of the commons has been avoided by a number of different groups of people on smaller scales, but so far we have not avoided it at the nation and planet level.

      I'm not sure what you are proposing and how we can get there.

      Right now most of us environmentalists are trying to put the control rods back into the reactor.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:36:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look at the historical trajectory. (4+ / 0-)

        This is why I recommended the reading of Jason W. Moore.  Capitalism is a historically expanding system.  It doesn't exist, and never existed, in pristine isolation from the rest of history, nor for that matter did any other system of political economy such as feudalism or imperial provision.  All human societies are connected by, and integrated with, historical development.  They can't be "looked at separately."

        The Soviet version of political economy existed in the historical context of capitalist development, from the age of the robber barons in which it developed, through the golden age of capitalism in which it consolidated its power, to the neoliberal era in which it disintegrated.  While capitalism was in the interim period of the 1920s and 1930s the Soviet version of political economy was in what Wallerstein called "mercantilistic semi-retreat from the world system," building furiously with Five-Year Plans with the aid of American engineers so as to create a competitive consumer society.  I can't honestly see the Soviet system as a fundamental break with capitalism.

        So where are we going?  Capitalism was aligned with "progress" so long as its expansion across the world could be accompanied by the beneficial association between national societies and "progress" in living standards.  In that sense global "scale" is fine.  What's not fine is that the system appears at this point to be headed toward terminal crisis, and that it appears to be taking out a great portion of the biosphere with it.  In a previous era capitalism might have transformed itself -- but the technosocial transformation now going on is not conducive to more and better capitalism.  

        The priority, then, is that we take care of fundamental human needs and fundamental ecological stability first, as a priority above and beyond the preservation of the profits system which dictates so much of human motivation at this time.  Small scale is better for this because people can more easily see what they're doing if they're not integrated into huge human machines.  What we'll get will largely be conditioned by historical outcomes.

        "This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s." -- Matt Stoller

        by Cassiodorus on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:55:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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