Friday, February 16, 2007

On the Process

I'm going to conceed that capitalism is the best economic system the world and human society has seen, so far. I'm not one of those 'capitalism is evil and we should go back to prehistory utopia' people. Capitalism is the most efficient system that's been practiced, and therefore the best system. If it's replacement is going to be an improvement, then the replacement has to be more efficient than the capitalist system (and hopefully better at evenly distributing wealth and not needing big government to buffer it's excesses). I think you can theoretically agree with that, not that it's going to happen, but that if it happened, it would be desireable, correct?

So, if we identify inefficiencies of the capitalist system, and then develop a new system that overcomes those inefficiencies, we've done good, right?

Two inefficiencies of capitalism are alienation of labor and accumulation of profit. You've read Marx so i'm assuming you're familiar with the concepts.

If the indie rockers develop a mode of production other than exploitation, that is: the appropriation of surplus value of labor (which they seem to be doing) and if that mode is truely more efficient (because it overcomes those to inefficiencies), then indie rockers will take over the music industry (which they seem to be doing).

Then economists and business planners (or perhaps labor organizers) will take a serious look at their methods and distill what can be transfered to other industries (i can't articulate such things at this point) and it will prove more efficient in those industries as well.

Then the capitalists will outlaw such practices and attempt to violently appropriate the new system (as they are doing with indie rock now, and as the monachs did with capitalism back in the day) The pioneers of the new system will rebel and seize control, but the war will be over before it started (as was the case in the capitalist transition).

1 comment:

John said...

In college where I majored in engineering, I took a mixture of liberal arts courses some of which integrated several fields such as economics and sociology. In one of these courses a great teacher, who was the very young head of the sociality dept., taught that we in the U. S. have the best of economic systems - a blend of capitalism and government social programs.
Later my brother got a gift subscription to National Review for me and a subscription to a liberal catholic magazine for my father. I read the NR faithfully and it influenced my thinking and acting and I use to discuss economics, etc. with John Birchers with whom I worked with in aerospace in Cal. I also took note of the importance of budget balancing which of course is government "interference" in economics. I also realized how important entrepreneurship is in our economy. I was something of an entrepreneur working for IBM and then in my consulting business.
But we must underpin capitalism to help people out of messes or help keep them away from messes. Our so-called health care system is a mess, for example.