[OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism and socialism?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2006 - 14:58:18 EST

Even in a 'socialist' society there is struggle.  How is it possible for
such a society to have both 'harmony' and struggle?

Allright then Jerry. We will have to think dialectically about it. In the
literature on the topic, this question is answered basically in terms of
type and scope.

1) What are we fighting/competing/struggling about?
2) What is the scope of that conflict?

As regards 1), it is one thing to struggle for your daily bread and water
(survival needs), it is another thing to compete for the best way to solve
problems of humanity, nature and society. You can talk about global warming
endlessly of course, if you are in the elite, but if you're out in the cold
with nothing to eat, it's a fat lot of use and you'll burn whatever you can
find to warm up.

As regards 2) it is one thing for people to punch each other in a personal
dispute, another for people to e.g. attack each other with nuclear bombs
killing everything in existence. If I play a game of chess, there's also a
conflict, but quite a different conflict from that which happens when people
are killing and mutilating each other.

In other words, you can never abolish human conflicts altogether, but you
can change their type and scope. There can be a basic harmony as regards the
essentials of human life, while the conflicts continue about how humans can
make better progress. That is "culture".

President Bush just recently went on record as saying "And I also would tell
people that democracies yield peace. Democracies don't fight each other."
His idea of the "good society" is that it is a democracy, and that
democracies are peaceful. That is his faith. Any scholar (or anybody with
common sense) however knows this is nonsense, they are very aware of the
American liars intervening in the political life of other democracies with
spies, propaganda and weapons. The real point is that Mr Bush cannot explain
where the conflict originates from, he just has the mystical bogey of
"terrorism". He thought he could just march into Iraq, topple the regime and
proceed to build the New Babylon ( or the New Jerusalem) and wouldn't people
be glad to have that. We socialists don't operate in this way (although some
messianic Stalinists would). We see it as our task, like Marx, to explain
what the "struggle" is really about, never mind the bullshit, and to
investigate and tackle the problems at their source. That is the
philosophical difference.

Well I counted to ten, but my dinner I was cooking got burnt a bit on the
stove. So you see the kind of problems I have here... :-)


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Nov 30 2006 - 00:00:06 EST