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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Capitalism - Is It Fair and Just? (108 comments)

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  •  i prefer to sidestep that phrase (5+ / 0-)

    as it is too overdetermined

    'from each. . .' has received too much mindless criticism to even be the basis for a discussion.

    this group is not an a priori marxist group.  i think a lot of different options which haven't even yet been described are possible.

    i accept most of marx in so far as i understand his theories, but i also accept that there can and should be new analytical frameworks which can offer insight.

    i do not think this group has had enough internal discussion to recognize an ideology beyond 'anti-capitalism' which all the active members probably agree to as a starting point.

    marx was one genius.  i think we can hope for others too, especially with seven billion people now on the planet.

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

    by BlueDragon on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:27:00 PM PST

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    •  thank you, as I am not a Marxist and I have not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, JayRaye

      used the "from each...." line.

      When I ask the question is capitalism fair and just, I'm not asking it as a relativist question. It doesn't matter, for the purpose of this discussion whether any other system is more or less fair and just.

      I'm trying to get us to look at this thing we worship and ask some fundamental questions about it.

      If we conclude that, "hey, I'm fine with the premise of everything being based on whether profit is generated" then, fine.

      But, if we conclude that there is a basic unfairness, injustice or unsustainability of that foundation, then we are best served to consider what about is problematic and try to address those things.

      Others here have ready answers for how address these problems. I don't. I want to look at the fundamental unfairness  and ask, would we prefer something which is fair and just? If so, let's write that down as the sine qua non of the system we would create. Now, let's start building a system. As every brick in that system is about to be laid in, we must first ask ourselves "does this maintain fairness and justice and sustainability?" If not, we can't lay that brick.

      •  Most systems so far, (4+ / 0-)

        from feudal societies to capitalist and communist ones, disadvantage people who are not aggressive. People who want stability, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, or who work to the best of their abilities for the benefit of all, are considered serfs, takers, and drones by those who wish to exploit them. I think any of these systems start to collapse when the exploited realise how badly they are treated and begin to investigate alternate systems. This process is in its early days on a global scale because developing countries would like to see the rewards that the Western world has accrued, first by exploiting their own workers and resources and then those who are purportedly converting to capitalist ideals: a form of ponzi scheme. I am an anti-capitalist because it is unsustainable, but the search for better models and possible solution is, for me at least, ongoing. I am waiting for one that treats sociopathic behaviour as the disease that it is.

        "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

        by northsylvania on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:16:49 PM PST

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    •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye

      Marx wasn't the author of the "from each according to their abilities.." quote.

      It predates Marx. I don't recall the name of the original source off hand. If anyone wants to know, I have a book I can check as a reference, but this was not from Marx, if what I've read is correct, and I have reason to believe it isn't.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:16:28 PM PST

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      •  **"...have NO reason to believe" nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:18:11 PM PST

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      •  Okay... found the source (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye

        It was in the notes to Graeber's book, Debt, The First Five thousand Years.

        Notes for Chapter 5, Page 404 of the hardback, for anyone interested.

        Graeber writes that

        ...the phrase was a "slogan current in the early French worker's movement, first appearing in print in the works of socialist Louis Blanc in 1939. Marx only took up the phrase in his Critique of the Gotha Programme in 1875, and even then used it in a rather idiosyncratic way: for the principle he imagined could apply on the level of society as a whole once technology had reached the point of guaranteeing absolute material abundance."
        Graeber's usage of the phrase in the text, he writes, is more in line with Kropotkin's usage in his work Mutual Aid, which, I gather, is more within the context of situations in which persons, according to their abilities (which could pertain to various scenarios, and to groups large or small) could give to others what is needed to fulfill requirements. In other words, mutual aid, wherein no one is keeping records of each and every exchange and transaction, but sharing according to what happens to be at hand, according to abilities/needs, in a given circumstance. These capabilities would change according to resources, age, or simply chance, and needs would change for the same reason.

        Anyway... grappling with this cited difference, but it seems to me there is more than one usage of the phrase.

        Graeber:

        "Starting, as I say, from the principle of each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs," allows us to look past the question of individual and private ownership (which is often little more than formal legality anyway) and at much more immediate and practical questions of who has access to what sorts of things and under what conditions. Whenever it is the operating principle, even if it's just two people who are interacting, we can say we're in the presence of a sort of communism."
        This is a less formal, less specific usage, it seems.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:08:42 PM PST

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      •  Confirmed by wikipedia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:57:45 PM PST

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