[OPE-L] The communistic psychology.

From: Alejandro Agafonow (alejandro_agafonow@YAHOO.ES)
Date: Tue May 01 2007 - 11:25:57 EDT

Cockshott on 04/29/2007: It is hard to take an invention and turn it into a successfull firm unless you are willing to commit yourself wholehartedly to capitalism. The difference is that the Apple guys wanted to be capitalists and went out and set up a company, I wanted to be an intellectual and did not want to commit myself to a life of running a company.
Dear Cockshott:
Not only guys with entrepreneur spirit do exist under capitalism but would exist and have to under socialism. But you are completely aware of the necessary social division of labour under socialism. Post-capitalists societies will equally need men like you and Jobs & Wozniak.
Being consequent with my mania of citing scholars, I completely share the following quotation from a market socialist, Karl Polanyi:
Neither the crude egotism, nor the apocryphal propensity to barter, truck, and exchange, nor even the tendency to cater to one’s self was in evidence. But equally discredited was the legend of the communistic psychology of the savage, his supposed lack of appreciation for his own personal interests (Roughly, it appeared that man was very much the same all through the ages. Taking his institutions not in isolation, but in their interrelation, he was mostly found to be behaving in a manner broadly comprehensible to us). What appeared as “communism” was the fact that the productive or economic system was usually arranged in such a fashion as not to threaten any individual with starvation. His place at the camp fire, his share in the common resources, was secure to him, whatever part he happened to have played in hunt, pasture, tillage, or gardening. (pp. 112) Karl Polanyi, “Our Obsolete Market Mentality: Civilization Must Find a New Thought Pattern”, Commentary, 3 (1947).
Best regards,
Alejandro Agafonow

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