1 Feb 2008

Capitalism can't be sustained

Capitalism is loco. We risk global recession unless we buy more crap....loco.

What is the alternative....discussion piece from Phelim

OK: we're agreed- Capitalism can't be sustainable. I suppose in my last 'missal' I was trying to point out that if we all accept this we need to work on solutions, given that we are running out of time. Hence me trying to push for some degree of acknolwedgement that while voting as a tactic can move people's minds, the taking over of the bakery might still be needed...

Our position is complicated by the fact that we are among the very few if not the only sentient mammals who can actually physically do anything for all the other animals to stop their demise too, although in my understanding, just because climate change may be fatal for humans and some if not most animals, some inevitably will readjust and survive and some may be able to evolve quickly to the Brave New (Boiling) World.

We can't hold onto the unsunstainable framework of attempting to green capitalism to make it more tolerable like Die Grunen in Germany or Comhantas Glas in Ireland. As one of my friends asked me when I was home at Christmas: "so why did Green ministers have to fly to Bali to have discussions about the planet?" And am really glad that you raised this point because we have seen the terrible dimensions of their arguments (like their 'ethical foreign policy'- bombing of Yugoslavia by German Greens and complicity with extraordinary rendition by Irish Greens), and this should make us stronger in putting forward more cogent ones about the nature of reform and our collective desires to have something better.

I still believe that it is our relationship to the means of production that defines if we are workers or not. Further, I would argue that the relationship paradigm that is set up by work (boss/ worker, oppressed/ oppressor etc) glimpses all relationships under capitalism, especially the unpaid relationships that Lucy quite rightly identifies- carer etc. But production and control of that production essentially demarcate what economic relationships human beings will have with other human beings and under capitalism that means someone is a boss while many others are workers. Hence my scary fixation with who controls what. I would go further arguing relationships which are deemed not be about providing a future tranche of workers have historically come under scrutiny for just as much- independent women who don't want to spend life having babies, gay relationships among many others...

Alexandra Kollontai (The People's Commisar for Welfare under the Bolsheviks just after the revolution in 1917 who successfully argued for the understanding of sexuality as a human instinct as necessary as food or water) has written expansively on the nature of the relationship between workers and the family, care of dependents and even Socialist approaches to communal cooking and washing. She set up the world's first Governmental Women's Department (until Stalin in the face of what the revolution stood for had it shut in the 30's as women were told that having been the catalyst of the revolution they could get back to cooking and cleaning) announcing that "men and women would work for, and be supported by, society, not their families. Similarly, their children would be reared basically by society" http://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1920/communism-family.htm

Inspiring stuff!


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