"To each according to his need..." (none / 0) (#39)
by kitten on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 05:08:13 AM EST
You raise some interesting ideas, but the basic idea that I get from the entire article was that you prefer the "From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need." In other words, if you pull your fair share and produce a good, or help to produce a good, then the goods you require that are produced by others will get to you.
However, I've noticed some comments from you that don't make much sense to me:
"Capitalism doesn't somehow magically make people more effecient. My experience has shown that people are much more effecient when they are interested, motivated, and have the will to do what they are doing."
No, it doesn't make people efficient through "magic". It makes people efficient by threatening to lower their income if they aren't efficient. If you don't flip your burgers or debug your subroutines faster than the guy down the street, you won't get as much business as he will, because people notice these things.
It's sort of akin to Darwinism.. the weak and lazy are weeded out (e.g., relegated to low-income jobs) while the motivated and efficient have the potential to pull in a higher income.
"Capitalism doesn't shrink time. If I could be sure that the time I spent helping to mine the steel would be recognized in the form of food, clothes, shoes, toys, goods, etc., I could work to do accomplish this. All I need is my own will, and the consent and trust of others in their will."
You can be sure, in the capitalist money-based system, that after you mine your steel, you will be paid with x amount of dollars, which you can then use to obtain the food, clothes, shoes, toys, etc that you require or want.
So I'm not really sure what you're getting at here.
"Sure, not everyone wants to work together."
I sure as hell don't. I'm a misanthropic cynic, it's true.
"However, I recognize that by working together and cooperating, I can provide more for myself and for my community. I do it out of a positive choice. You can't force someone to feel or believe anything. They have to arrive at such a stance by their own reckoning."
Am I to infer from this that you feel the capitalist system is not a form of "cooperation"? I think it is. "Say, you have a certain skill that I need, and I have money. Why we get together and I'll trade this money for your time and labor?" Seems fairly cooperative to me.
By the way, you can force people to believe in things.. People believe that money has value. It used to be backed by silver or gold, which gave it value. In other words, anyone could, in theory, take their money to a bank and demand gold or silver in exchange for it.
The monetary system in most of the world no longer works that way. It operates on the fiat system, which (in short) means that the money has value because the government says so. It's printed on the back of every US dollar: "This note is legal tender for all debts." By law, you must accept this dollar as payment. But that's just fine with me, because everyone else has to accept the dollar as payment as well, and therefore I can use the dollar to obtain anything I want or need. As long as everyone ACTS like they believe the money has value, that's all that really matters.
"As for governance, what I'm suggesting is that most of what the government does can be done away with. Substitute good manners, effective organizing, leadership from within the populace, and equality, and you won't need the force that is inextricably linked to the government."
This sounds very much like the above quote, "To each according... from each according..." The reasons it failed are multifold, but surely in part because people are naturally inclined to do as little work as they can get away with. You also assume that people are, by nature, good. They're not. The population is full of greedy, lazy, selfish layabouts that would take advantage of this system by scheming ways to get away with doing less work.
"Especially, move governance to the local, grassroots level, and don't have any governmental organization that outgrows its scope."
On the one hand, I agree. Local governments should have more direct control for their jurisdictions; in this way citizens get more "personal attention" to their needs.
However, there does need to be some sort of centralalization, or else the entire system gets bottlenecked by local governments with conflicting views.
A quick example can be taken from the city of Atlanta, where I live. There is a major road here which almost 80% of the population from point A uses to get downtown, which is point B. The traffic every rush hour is absolutely horrendous, because of the sheer number of cars. Bisecting this road almost exactly halfway is a line between two local governments, Cobb and Fulton. Cobb wanted to widen the road so that the traffic situation would be better, but Fulton didn't want to spend the time and money doing that. The argument between Cobb and Fulton ensued for well over seven years before Cobb went ahead and widened their half of the road anyway.. Fulton didn't follow suite because they felt they had better things do worry about, and the traffic situation is now worse because this heavily-travelled road switches from four lanes to two lanes at the county line.
Local governments squabbling with each other produced a negative effect. If the city of Atlanta had stepped in and told both Cobb and Fulton to widen the road, end of discussion, we'd all be a lot happier around here.
I fear that your system only takes into account what people *need* rather than what they *want*. Sure, your system might work out well if all I required were food, water, clothing, and shelter.. but after these basic needs are met, I *want* other things, too. I want a computer, I want a CD player, I want a cellular phone. I don't actually need them, but I want them. How would your system provide for this?
In your system, if I wanted a car, I'd have to produce a hell of a lot of widgets for it, and then my choice of cars would be limited. I'd have to settle for a Yugo, when what I wanted was a Volvo (yes, I really like Volvo, everyone shut up). But in the current system, I have the option of purchasing a Volvo if I have the money available to me. It costs more than a Yugo but I believe it's a better product.
I'm rambling now, so I'm going to stop here.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]