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View Diary: "Socialism has never happened before." (92 comments)

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  •  De facto isn't enough for me. (0+ / 0-)
    I'm sure this would happen.
    ...until someone convinced enough of the public that it shouldn't happen. What I don't get is why it's any of the public's business in the first place what happens in my workplace, as long as what happens in my workplace isn't affecting the rights of others.

    I'm not interested in the de facto here; if we're really talking about setting up systems, then I don't understand why the system would suggest that the average member of the public, who is generally more ignorant about what goes on in others' workplaces than those who actually work there, and who isn't directly affected by what happens in the workplaces of others, should have an even theoretically equal voice in that workplace with someone who knows the workplace and is directly affected by all decisions made about that workplace.

    Why do you think the public should have any say at all in the workplace, except insofar as the public regulates those resources which are owned by the public?

    You may want to work on the exact wording of this one a bit further.  The public already controls what it owns under capitalism, which is damned little.
    Which is why I think that we need to significantly expand our notion of what is held in common and owned by the common whole, to include natural resources, land, etc. What I don't think is appropriate is to suggest that the public has any right to interfere in the decisions of others, except insofar as those decisions affect either a commonly-held resource or another person's rights.
    When people just act on their own behalf, however, they can't legitimately claim to represent the group in doing so.
    I'm not interested in who can "legitimately claim to represent the group." I'm interested in everyone being able to legitimately claim that they have the power to decide for themselves what path their life will take, and what kind of lifestyle they want.

    The way I see it, there are only a few possible reasons why "the public" could claim that it should have any say at all in the decisions of free associations of individuals. One of these reasons, the one I consider quite legitimate, is that the public should have a say insofar as the decisions of the smaller group directly affect the rights of others, or directly affect something that is owned by the public. The second reason, which I consider illegitimate, is the idea that the public should be able to impose its will by fiat on the smaller group regardless of whether the smaller group's decisions directly affect something that is legitimately in the realm of the public, simply because of some notion of the public (or the "working class" as a whole) as having an inherent sovereignty over all of its members.

    The latter position seems to be what you're suggesting here—and, in my opinion, its being problematic on its own is only secondary to the fact that I don't see any real barriers between imposing the fiat of the sovereign majority on a group, and imposing the fiat of the sovereign majority on individuals.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sun May 05, 2013 at 02:05:59 PM PDT

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    •  There's still the matter of social coordination (0+ / 0-)
      I'm interested in everyone being able to legitimately claim that they have the power to decide for themselves what path their life will take, and what kind of lifestyle they want.
      These days, our lifestyles are contingent upon other people's lifestyles -- consumer lifestyles, for instance, are largely contingent upon access to cheap goods produced by unfree Chinese labor.  How would that change with socialism?

      "Do something pretty while you can" -- Stuart Murdoch

      by Cassiodorus on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:09:36 PM PDT

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