Monday, February 3, 2014

Reform from within with a different kind of consciousness

Going back to this Chomsky video, he was asked if one tried to reform the system from within weren't they in effect just feeding the capitalist beast. He said no, that that was a necessary step on the way to libertarian socialism (LS). That we need to make progressive inroads to transform it from within. He provided numerous examples of LS systems past and present that are quite successful, but in themselves they do not change the dominant system. And when those systems get too successful on a larger scale, the not only the state socialists but the state capitalists will team up to crush them, for such actual democratic liberty is a threat to both of them.

Thing is, state capitalism operates within at least a nominal democratic political system. Granted it does everything in its considerable power to overcome that democracy, but it relies on at least maintaining the facade to prevent outright revolution of the kind that has decimated state socialism. So we need to use that pretense to justify progressive changes within the existing system by winning over the workers of America, the ones getting the shaft by the capitalist plutocrats and their political cronies in government. Time and again we see them give an inch here and there when popular sentiment rises up. And there is some support in our governments by way of some truly progressive politicians that actually believe in democracy and the people. Yes, they are in the minority but they hold true to the democratic ideals on which such constitutions were founded at the expense of actual blood  when tyranny and fascism ruled the day.

So if workers unite and politically fight for democracy we have seen that they do indeed make inroads. As Chomsky said, we change our consciousness by actively participating in direct democracy, not by trying to figure out intellectually how to get there with rules and formulas. In the process of enacting it we adjust to conditions on the ground, organizing systems that fit the circumstances as we go. Yes, LS has general principles to which we adhere, but they are manifested into system working with what we have and changing it. To hold to strictly to idealist systems often misses the necessary elements in front of us, trying to fit everything into a theory, which often then ironically misses such opportunity when presented because it doesn't fit.

Recall this post discussing Human's Ph.D. thesis called "Potential economies: complexity, novelty and the event" (starting here). This post was on how it applies to capitalism, and that the system itself is based on the kind of utilitarian rationality which sees system first as the way to organize economies. If something doesn't fit into it then it is ignored or marginalized. He sees this as an example of a restricted economy and general economies require "a different kind of reasoning," one which doesn't see the idea (ideal) as the most important, again an example of the kind of idealism that dominates the egoic-rational structure. Such idealism ends up creating the kind of state capitalist and state socialist structures that subsume the individual within such set theoretical systems. Whereas this other kind of reasoning (integral?) allows for adjusting to the actual conditions on the ground, remaining open enough to change our contingent organizational structures when necessary. And allowing for the kind of individual autonomy that isn't so self-centered as to overlook its social connections, aka libertarian socialism.

I see the same idealistic dynamic or restricted economy involved in such integral models when based on the same kind of egoic-rational consciousness and its hidden metaphysical premises including a mereology based on the kind of set theory inherent to that consciousness. Whereas we see a different sort of democratic mereology in Bryant and the speculative realists, which I'd suggest is influenced by this other kind of emerging reasoning beyond the metaphysical formal operations inherent to capitalism. And in many cases, integral theory in its support of such an idealistic economic system, as it tends to unconsciously use the same kind of consciousness structure from participating in and enacting not democracy but plutocracy.

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