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The eternal dream of the socialist mind

It’s a fun poster. Yet socialists have been predicting the imminent end of capitalism for, oh, about 150 years now and it has yet to happen. Like the T-1000 in Terminator II which reassembled itself after being seemingly destroyed, capitalism can also instantly morph into new forms. This is something  socialism and communism, with their ponderous bureaucracies, are not capable of doing.

Moreover, the hardcore communist regimes that have existed haven’t exactly been models of fairness with worker control of the economy. Instead, they mostly end up being corrupt gerontocracies exercising rigid control on  the economy and most everything else. Soft socialism, as practiced in Europe hasn’t exactly been a rousing success either.

Just because capitalism isn’t working, as the header image of this blog says, doesn’t mean socialism is a viable alternative. And I’m not sure how anarchism – in the classic European sense, not bomb-throwing – can work, because it doesn’t scale. You can’t built tractors at a mega-plant when no one is in charge and important decisions must be voted on. That kind of organization works fine with 20-30 people who know each other. It can still work with several hundred like-minded people as OWS shows us. But if thousands of people involved, and they have competing agendas, someone has to have final say. Everything can’t be a group decision.

Of course, we don’t really have capitalism here. The elites enjoy protection from the law and the Too Big To Fail banks continue to be bailed out regardless of their insolvency and corruption.

It seems to me we have the worst of all three systems. We need new ideas.

  • Linda Piera-Avila

    Cooperatives

  • “Soft socialism, as practiced in Europe hasn’t exactly been a rousing success either.”

    *coughcoughcough*sweden*coughcough*

    • Are you coughing because Sweden demonstrates what I said or demonstrates the opposite?

      Signed,

      Clueless American

      • Sweden’s generally thought of in Europe as the working left-wing state. It’s not perfect, but perception (over here at least) is that they have the best standards of living in Europe, pretty much.

        • Gotcha! So soft socialism (as I call it) can work sometimes, then.

          (Taking on role as geographically-challenged American)

          So, is this Sweden thing part of The United Britain where you live? It’s near Ukraine on the Mediterranean, right?

  • You’re either with us, or against us. Whose side are you on?

    Sweden is a lousy example. One) they have about as many people as Oregon. Two) they have an educational system that educates, as opposed to the dog-shit system we have here. It’s a straw man argument, “Wood” is an agent provocateur.

    • Wood lives in Wales and Sue and I have been to his house. If he’s an agent provocateur, he’s got me fooled.

      I’m not quite sure what your point is. I mean, it would be good to have a real educational system here, right?

      • I would love to be an agent provocateur. They have the best underwear.

        • Pat H

          Awesome!

  • logansafi

    Capitalism doesn’t work (and strangely enough you say that we don’t even have capitalism in place! just like any good Libertarian would), socialism doesn’t work, and anarchism won’t either. ‘We need new ideas.’ you say? I can imagine you back 2 hundred years ago, Bob, saying, too, that feudalism doesn’t work, slavery doesn’t work, and neither does industrial commodity producing capitalism. ‘We need new ideas!’ So what is to be done, Vlad?

    Well first of all, we need some sort of update in theory from formula-lated Marxism of 200 years ago and Trotskyism formula-lated of 100 years ago. Capitalism is not just a justice issue these days, but an ecological one as well. And we need some sort of updated idea of what a wombat party would be, as opposed to the social democratic liberal mush tripe that most Left out Trots have sunk themselves into now being.

    My experience with Occupy was hardly a ‘dream’, but more like a nightmare. In my local area Occupy was begun by Zeitgeist cultists and Ron Paulite/ Ayn Randists. Back to the drawing board, I guess? I would retire and go retreat into nature but Nature haas now been completely destroyed in my lifetime, so it’s probably to cyberworld where I will personally disintegrate… Certainly lots of like minded folk there on Hatebook.

    • Marxism doesn’t work because of the dictatorship of the proletariat thing. They oppress everyone not just the bourgeoisie and don’t let go of power. Plus, as you mention, Marxists are stuck in the past, everything must be interpreted in terms of what St. Karl said.

      I think we’ll eventually have something like the Arab Spring here.

      • logansafi

        Unlike you, Bob, I think that marxism does work as a foundation, but it has to be updated constantly because today’s capitalism is much different than it was back in the times when St. Karl wrote, and not allowed to simply be used as some sort of stale unmovable doctrine.

        One thing that it is seriously wrong about classical and static doctrinaire marxism is the very badly dated idea that human labor creates all of value. That simply is false. Nature produces most of real value,and human labor destroys that value more often than not.

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