I haven't "bought into" anything. It has been my vocation and
avocation to study for sixty years the countries that actually
did abolish capitalist classes and private ownership of the means
of production. The only organizations that did that were
Communist parties. Anarchists, with their long traditions in
Italy, France, and Spain, did not. Trotskyists, including a
number of devoted and courageous people, never amounted to
anything: 2,000 members in the U.S., vs. 100,000 in the CP. The
societies without capitalists, without private ownership of the
means of production, and without markets, i.e., those that met
Marx' stated criteria for socialism, all ultimately collapsed.
The most human societies that now exist are those with capitalism
of a social-democratic or New Deal nature. When we here attain
that, we'll be vastly better off. That will not end history, but
it will be for those in that capitalism with a human face to set
themselves further goals and seek routes to attain them.
Certainly global mega-corporations not only reflect but
effectuate economies of scale. And certainly they do all the
terrible things you list. By every measure of human welfare --
life expectancy, health, education, whatever -- people are better
off in the "developed" capitalist countries than anywhere else.
It is also true that, in the United States, the living standard
of the majority has declined in the past thirty years, but it
remains one that Haitian peasants and Israeli Ph.D.s fight like
hell to come here to enjoy.
There are no easy answers and no formulaic solutions.
Ted Morgan wrote:
> 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
> > PNFPNF@aol.com 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
> > --
> > To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
> > You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
-- To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out." You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
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