[OPE-L:2779] Re: socialism and planning

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 16:53:53 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C asked in [OPE-L:2679]:

> This may seem a naive question, but just what is the use of a further
> understanding of capitalism?

Michael W:
To which I like Jerry's response, to which I would add:
1) The critical grasp of capitalism has to percolate throughout the population
of those oppressed by it, so that they can recognize that they are oppressed,
and the nature of that oppression, in order that they can organize to change it.
2) Motivating change may well be facilitated by speculation about future
possibilities - but blue-prints for planning mechanisms have at best a minor
role to play in this. They certainly have no special scientific credibility over
artistic constructions of feasible utopias.

These all seem like commonplaces to me. I must say an apparently naturalistic
account of capitalism seems eerie enough; a naturalistic science of historical
change strikes me as positively dangerous.

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"