Sunday, December 16, 2012

Capitalism must die

Here is one democratic socialist take consistent with recent blog posts:

“The really inconvenient truth is that there is no possible way to accomplish any, much less all, of these things [see article] other than by breaking with the underlying logic of the accumulation of capital.... What is required both for long-term human survival, and for the creation of a new condition of 'plenitude,' is a smaller ecological footprint for the global economy, coupled with a system of comprehensive social, technological, and economic planning—one that is of, by, and for the people [i.e., democratic]. It means abandonment of the myth of absolute economic growth as the panacea for all of society’s ills, and the downshift to a sustainable, steady-state economy rooted in the development of human community rather than individual accumulation."

Also recall this post on The Simpler Way. In this article on capitalism Trainer said:

“There is now a strong, indeed dominant tendency on the 'Left' to assume that globalisation is inevitable, that the market system is to be accepted and that the goal must be to work for a humane, re-regulated capitalism, or 'social-democracy' [not to be confused with democratic socialism]. The 'Third Way is about the acceptance of globalisation and capitalism but with the assumption that they can be made humane' (…'civilised' in Mark Latham’s terms.) Many within the anti-globalisation movement are only out to re-regulate capitalism, for example calling for fair trade. Fotopolous calls these people 'Left reformers' and distinguishes them from the currently small minority on the Left who believe that it is a fundamental mistake to assume that capitalism can be civilised and who insist that the goal must be to replace the system. Fotopoulos, and I are in the latter camp.... It is disappointing that so many of the people opposing globalisation and economic rationalism do not realise that trying to reform capitalism is utterly mistaken. What we have to be about is a transition to not just a non-capitalist economic system but to a very different culture in which the driving forces are not individualism, competition, growth and acquisitiveness. If we do not make this extremely big and difficult value change within a few decades we will probably find our selves in a very nasty new dark age.”

And this from Arnsperger located in this IPS thread on progressive economics:

"The brilliant and diabolical logic of capitalism plays on the confusion between 'needs' and 'cravings.' That's why we run after consumption and accumulation. Consequently, it's a system that creates repetitive compulsions for most of us - in any case, for those who have the means to treat themselves to certain things - and that simultaneously creates structural inequalities.

"One cannot do without the economy, but one can and one will have to do without capitalism. This existential crisis of the economy is a truly essential crisis of capitalism, the symptom of a profound malaise.

"I propose the implementation of three kinds of ethos. First, an ethics of willful simplicity, a return towards a much more frugal conviviality ... The second ethos: a radical democratization of our institutions, including our economic institutions, proceeding to the democratization of companies ... And third: an ethos of profound equalitarianism, going so far as 'a universal allocation,' that is, an unconditional base income paid to all citizens.

"The general idea is that we must recreate a critical conviviality. Each person must personally conquer his autonomy; each person must do the work of de-conditioning himself; perform a self-critique of his own complicity with the system. That occurs through an anchoring in the locality and in power-sharing, in an ethos that I call neither communist nor communitarian, but rather a 'communalist' ethos that leads to willful simplicity and radical democratization that result in a relocalization of the economy."

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