Re: [sixties-l] Re: Horowitz corporations

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 15:01:48 CUT

  • Next message: Ted Morgan: "Re: [sixties-l] Fwd: Calif: Reflections on SLATE and Lessons Learned"

    Just wondered a bit about Bill's comment here. Are you saying Bill that
    our global mega-corporations reflect "economies of scale" (vs.
    "diseconomies of scale"?) rather than well-organized exploitation of
    massive worldwide cheap labor??? Is "economy of scale" the reason that,
    say, GM embraces "free trade" and deregulation and moves its production
    to Mexico, enticing poor rural Mexicans into a "promising future" of
    employment that actually produces massive squalor amongst a highly
    concentrated, underpaid and often enough unemployed population? What
    about the highly efficient and productive worker-owned enterprises the
    world has seen over the years (e.g., Mondragon)? I don't argue that
    there is no such thing as economy of scale, but to simply put the causal
    explanation there grossly oversimplifies and distorts contemporary
    realities and, well, buys into the prevailing ideology of the market.
    Guess you're not the 'pinko' I thought you were (just kidding!). :>)

    And, unfortunately, you've also bought into the "there's only two
    alternatives" piece of this ideology: "Communist-style" state socialism
    (nationalization, bureaucratization, authoritarianism, etc.) vs.
    capitalism as we know it.


    William Mandel wrote:
    > Paula: Regrettably, it's true. the U.S. ranks near the top,
    > fourth in the world, in quality of life. Canada is first. Canada,
    > too, is a land of corporations, but there is a degree of control
    > and a larger degree of concern for public welfare -- single-payer
    > health and now something approaching that in child-care -- that
    > makes for a more human life. But both there and here it actually
    > is corporations and, specifically, the competition among them,
    > that has brought technological change to the society as a whole,
    > even when that change -- the PC -- was invented by a bunch of 60s
    > kids with the ideal of putting information in the hands of the
    > people at large.
    > The countries that abolished corporations -- the
    > Communist-governed ones -- replaced them with government
    > monopolies. Monopolies public or private feel no pressure to
    > introduce technological change.
    > Neither PCs, televisions or refrigerators can be produced at
    > affordable prices except by what are corporations, no manner what
    > name you give them. The point is that affordable prices are the
    > result of economies of scale: mass production.
    > Bill Mandel
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Well maybe David would like to think about some of those benefits of
    > > turn-of-the-centurycorporate colonialism that, as Adam Hochschild's recent
    > > book points out so well, the remaining third or half or so of sub-Saharan
    > > Africans "enjoyed." What an upper lifestyle-wise.
    > > Generally, is technological change now being credited to corporations?
    > > Sounds like the "Wow we live in the US where it's better--we have
    > > refrigerators and television!" of '50s grade school recitations....
    > > Paula
    > --
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