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  •  Nature / Orwell (4.00)

    I always figured capitalism was a natural system, since it relied on something immutable in human nature, i.e. self interest.

    Leaving aside whether or not human nature contains immutable elements or that self-interest is one of them, capitalism isn't the only expression of self-interest.  Per Marx's thought, the fall of the capitalist mode of production (he never actually used the term "capitalism") is supposed to come on the heels of a crisis in profitability that cause the increasing immiseration of workers. In other words, the workers find that capitalist production is contrary to their self (and group) interest; on his analysis, if you are a worker, capitalism will not be able to deliver the goods.

    Now one can argue that Marx was wrong about the ultimate crisis in profitability and increasing immiseration ("These things would have happened without gov't intervention!" "No—Marx neglected to factor in all the technological innovations capitalism can provide!") and also note that Marx himself did not believe that human nature was fixed, but a product of our historically specific social and material conditions.  But on this point, it seems to me he regards workers in their capacity as the revolutionary agents as a coalition of self-interested individuals.


    I'm beginning to think George Orwell was more of a psychic than Nostradamus. It's like we are all little players in "1984" now.

    Check out Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. He was a socialist who developed a great affection for the Spanish anarchists. What he saw in the Spanish Civil war was the USSR constantly and repeatedly stabbing the Spanish revolutionaries in the back.

    An idea whose time has come has no time to waste—T.W. Adorno

    by scissorsmacgillicutty on Mon Sep 13, 2004 at 07:32:42 AM PDT

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