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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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Thats a difficult one to answer. a current indicator is found in the use of open source. Also, if you give primacy to the state/capital nexus to developing technology then it seems we have to rely on them. try to think of the scientists as autonomous workers, whose work is always appropriated by the state.

http://libcom.org/files/Autonomist%20Marxism%20and%20the%20Information%20Society1.pdf
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:49 pm
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redball



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Lack of standardization and horrible infighting are the worst problems in the open source model.
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:05 pm
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bigsole
Bought his character on ebay


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some of the most innovative people i've met are anarchists. especially in europe. the act of "hacking" is essentially anarchist. people who identify themselves as anarchists are intellectuals 90% of the time. but because europe has a richer tradition with social movements and philosophy, you have smarter anarchists, and more useful applications of anarchist principals. most of the best venues in europe are at squats, people move in to an abandoned building, make it their own, build a vegan restaraunt, a venue with great sound system, a library, etc. all these things are collectivized, but what makes it work is that its carefully planned and thought out. i dont think america is ready for such changes, it would take education a whole generation on all the things that their parents, and their parents parents have missed.

in an anarchist society... if there is such a thing, it would actually end up being quite libertarian... so to say that private capital and enterprise cant innovate technology is silly. i've always said that the extreme left and the extreme right would find much common ground in this imagined world.

also, when i think of how the industrial area of detroit is now, is what im talking about. its a scene from mad max. people have built venues/shops/studios in these abandoned factory buildings, its a vision of the future. it will be really fucking cool when all the midwestern/rust belt cities end up tranformed by hipsters and anarchists.

to me the problem comes with labeling, anytime you do it its restrictive. i know what the teachings of anarchism and marxism and even capitolism have done for me, but when you try to pin down archaic ideas and try to live by them, it gets tricky. i mean, capitolism/spectacular society is so entrenched, short of a complete electric breakdown i cant imagine we can live without it, its there to stay, so to me its all about finding meaningful ways to live within it, unless you wanna go live in the mountains, or in africa or baghdad or some shit.
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:12 pm
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
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http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/19699


Quote:

Do individuals have an incentive to search for innovations, and do workers councils have an incentive to implement productive ones once they're found? These are important questions since even if people come to recognize that environmentally and socially destructive growth is no longer in their interests, raising living standards for everyone, reducing everyone's work time, improving the quality of everyone's working environment, and restoring the natural environment will require a great deal of innovation.

We do not support rewarding those who succeed in discovering productive innovations with vastly greater consumption rights than others who make equivalent personal sacrifices in work. Instead we recommend emphasizing direct social recognition of outstanding achievements for a variety of reasons. First, successful innovation is often the outcome of cumulative human creativity for which a single individual is rarely responsible. Furthermore, an individual's contribution is often the product of genius and luck as much as personal sacrifice, all of which implies that recognizing innovation through social esteem rather than material reward is superior on ethical grounds. Second, we are not convinced that social incentives will prove less powerful than material ones. It should be recognized that no economy ever has, or could pay innovators the full social value of their innovations. If it did, there would be little left to pay those who apply them over long periods of time. This means if material compensation is the only reward, innovation will be under stimulated in any case. Moreover, often material reward is merely an imperfect substitute for what is truly desired -- social esteem. How else can one explain why those who already have more wealth than they, their children, and their children's children can consume continue to strive to accumulate more? In any case, these are our opinions. Actual policy in a participatory economy would be settled democratically in light of results.

Nor do we see why critics believe there would be insufficient incentives for enterprises to seek and implement innovations, unless they measure a participatory economy against a mythical and misleading image of capitalism. Sometimes it is presumed that innovating capitalist enterprises capture the full benefits of their successes, while it is also assumed that innovations spread instantaneously to all enterprises in an industry. When made explicit it is obvious these assumptions are contradictory. Yet only if both assumptions hold can one conclude that capitalism provides maximum material stimulus to innovation and achieves technological efficiency throughout the economy. In reality innovative capitalist enterprises temporarily capture "super profits" which are competed away more or less rapidly depending on a host of circumstances including patent laws and the efficacy of enforcement of intellectual property rights. Which means that in reality there is a trade-off in capitalist economies between stimulus to innovation and the rapid spread of innovations, or a trade-off between dynamic and static efficiency.

In a participatory economy workers do have a material incentive to implement socially useful innovations. Any change that increases the social benefits of the outputs they produce, or reduces the social costs of the inputs they use will increasing the workers council's social benefit to social cost ratio. This makes it easier for the council to get its proposals accepted in the participatory planning process, can allow workers to reduce their effort, can permit them to improve the quality of their work life, or can raise the average effort rating the council can award its members. But just as in capitalism, adjustments will render any advantage they achieve temporary. As the innovation spreads to other enterprises, as indicative prices change, and as work complexes are re-balanced across enterprises and industries the full social benefits of their innovation will be both realized and spread to all workers and consumers.

The faster the adjustments are made, the more efficient and equitable the outcome. On the other hand, the more rapid the adjustments, the less the "material incentive" to innovate and the greater the incentive to "ride for free" on the innovations of others. But a participatory economy enjoys advantages in managing this trade off compared to capitalism. Most importantly, direct recognition of "social serviceability" is a more powerful incentive to innovation in a participatory economy, which reduces the magnitude of the trade off since more innovation will occur in a participatory economy than in capitalism for the same speed of adjustments. Secondly, a participatory economy is better suited to allocating resources efficiently to research and development because R&D is largely a public good which is predictably under supplied in market economies but would not be in a participatory economy. Third, the only effective mechanism for providing material incentives for innovating enterprises in capitalism is to slow their spread, at the expense of efficiency. This is true because the transaction costs of registering patents and negotiating licenses from patent holders are very high. But while we would recommend it only as a last resort, the transaction costs of delaying the re-calibration of work complexes for innovative work places, or even granting extra consumption allowances for a period of time would be negligible in a participatory economy.

In general, we find much of what parades as scientific opinion about incentives flawed by implicit and unwarranted assumptions predictable in an era of capitalist triumphalism. We are not as pessimistic about the motivational power of non-material incentives in an appropriate environment as many of our progressive colleagues have become. Nor do we see any inappropriate obstacles to the deployment of material incentives in a participatory economy should its members decide they are warranted. In the end we are quite comfortable with the very traditional socialist view that a mixture of material and social incentives would be necessary during the process of creating an equitable and humane economy. But that social progress hinges, in part, on diminishing reliance on material incentives over time.
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:14 pm
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Szechwan



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
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Every single time I see this thread I read it as "antichrist."
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:22 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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I'm not into total anarchy, though a part of me wouldn't mind it if things suddenly reverted to a wilder style. If people that really cared about one another and the their little slice of land got together, and everyone did their task without bitching, and nobody ever got tired of equality I think it would work. But you just know at least one group of rowdy biker types with flaming chains and knife boots and shotguns will come barreling through someone's nice commune and pillage.
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:55 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



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Okay, so maybe innovation doesn't come from desire for material wealth (for the sake of argument). Even so, we're talking about resources here. Open source and hacking aren't the same thing as mining raw materials and manufacturing huge things. We don't exactly see open source or communal wind turbines popping up.

Last edited by Charlie Foxtrot on Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:12 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



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bigsole wrote:
in an anarchist society... if there is such a thing, it would actually end up being quite libertarian... so to say that private capital and enterprise cant innovate technology is silly. i've always said that the extreme left and the extreme right would find much common ground in this imagined world.



Private capital in an anarchist society? The whole idea of money requires either a government printing it, or having it pegged to the value of something rare, like gold. If it's the latter, wouldn't you need some international body monitoring the supply in order to the determine it's value? And anyways the whole idea of private companies in an anarchist society scares the fuck out of me. Can you imagine a world that looks like this country did prior to the progressive era? Right now many countries do look like that. Under anarchy, what stops it from spreading to the whole world? I mean, some of those communes/anarchist townships/co-ops will fail, and those people will need food, and will be desperate, and so here comes a corporation with no safety rules willing to feed them...look I don't the government telling me my friends are criminals for smoking weed, but I do like them saying companies have to provide safety glasses for a job that should require them.

And shouldn't we look at the progress we've made? In the last 60 years we've made huge strides in race relations, medical care, the fact that people don't usually starve in America, etc. Under anarchy would people be able to have the same standard of living as they do now? If anarchy had come into place in the 50s would there be communties of klansmen attacking communities of blacks? And things are getting better. Current financial crisis aside, efforts are being made to get more people insured, harness renewable non-polluting resources, etc.

My real problem is overpopulation, which would be a problem in any society. If we can reduce the population we really do have the resources to provide for everyone. If the world only had 2 billion people (or less) like it should, and we could not be selfish assholes, we could make a pretty nice world. Now I know that the preceding may seem hopelessly optimistic/John Lennonish given human nature, which is why I'm interested in tommi's ideas about the evolution of human nature and was wondering if he could maybe expand upon them?
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:31 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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I messed up the quote

Last edited by Confidential on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:01 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
bigsole wrote:
in an anarchist society... if there is such a thing, it would actually end up being quite libertarian... so to say that private capital and enterprise cant innovate technology is silly. i've always said that the extreme left and the extreme right would find much common ground in this imagined world.



Private capital in an anarchist society? The whole idea of money requires either a government printing it, or having it pegged to the value of something rare, like gold. If it's the latter, wouldn't you need some international body monitoring the supply in order to the determine it's value? And anyways the whole idea of private companies in an anarchist society scares the fuck out of me. Can you imagine a world that looks like this country did prior to the progressive era? Right now many countries do look like that. Under anarchy, what stops it from spreading to the whole world? I mean, some of those communes/anarchist townships/co-ops will fail, and those people will need food, and will be desperate, and so here comes a corporation with no safety rules willing to feed them...look I don't the government telling me my friends are criminals for smoking weed, but I do like them saying companies have to provide safety glasses for a job that should require them.

And shouldn't we look at the progress we've made? In the last 60 years we've made huge strides in race relations, medical care, the fact that people don't usually starve in America, etc. Under anarchy would people be able to have the same standard of living as they do now? If anarchy had come into place in the 50s would there be communties of klansmen attacking communities of blacks? And things are getting better. Current financial crisis aside, efforts are being made to get more people insured, harness renewable non-polluting resources, etc.

My real problem is overpopulation, which would be a problem in any society. If we can reduce the population we really do have the resources to provide for everyone. If the world only had 2 billion people (or less) like it should, and we could not be selfish assholes, we could make a pretty nice world. Now I know that the preceding may seem hopelessly optimistic/John Lennonish given human nature, which is why I'm interested in tommi's ideas about the evolution of human nature and was wondering if he could maybe expand upon them?


I think you are overestimating the governments check on capital. The political- economic model we have, sometimes called neoliberal globalization, or sometimes "the model", puts governments always in the service of capital accumulation at the expense of everyone one and the environment. Sure there are some administrations, like the current one, that may work to mitigate the misery but by and large, they will never really do anything beyond a market-based solution.

If by improving race relations you mean politely skirting around it, claiming to be colorblind, then yes we've improved. If you mean undoing inequality, then no we haven't improved. As a whole, people of color get the shaft when in comes to education, housing, employment, incarceration, and pretty much every level of society as compared to whites.

This also goes for working class people too, whose gains that were made during the fordist phase of kapitalism continue to be steadily eroded. Look at the level of hostility in political discourse against unions, affirmative action- it is basically out of the question. If anything was learned during the arrest of professor gates is that it is not acceptable to talk about racial prejudice in a serious way on a national level- it will get subsumed under "more important" matters and be dismissed as a simple misunderstaning on an individual - not systemic- level.

Populationism scares the fuck out of me, because what region/race/class usually gets blamed for this problem?
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:04 pm
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Charlie Foxtrot



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Okay so maybe I overstated the progress on race, but desegregation and a black president aren't exactly nothing. Even so, just thinking about the society we have, I mean people used to starve in this country, on a regular basis. It wasn't just the homeless. How does an anarchist society even feed itself? How many people actually know how to farm these days? I guess my position can be summed up by saying that reducing population (obviously through non-lethal means) and spreading the wealth around would be much more beneficial to society than anarchy. My biggest question is how we reduce the population.
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:10 pm
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Confidential



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I can see how the left and right can intersect, like in seattle 1999, which was mostly leftist, but then you always have the protecting our national sovereignty types who feel that free trade is going to create a superstate. Some anarchists have been notorious for their eugenecism and social dawrism.

Without reproductive justice, the "population problem" is easily co-opted by the right and can get pretty ugly, as with forced sterilization.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/peru-cn.htm

http://www.sistersong.net/documents/RJBriefingBook.pdf
Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:27 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
Okay so maybe I overstated the progress on race, but desegregation and a black president aren't exactly nothing. Even so, just thinking about the society we have, I mean people used to starve in this country, on a regular basis. It wasn't just the homeless. How does an anarchist society even feed itself? How many people actually know how to farm these days? I guess my position can be summed up by saying that reducing population (obviously through non-lethal means) and spreading the wealth around would be much more beneficial to society than anarchy. My biggest question is how we reduce the population.


I think it's a big mistake to talk about material progress in the U.S. as an indicator of the possibility for universal prosperity across the globe. First of all, many of the basic metrics of a healthy society have been falling in the U.S. since at least the 70's. Second, many of the material gains of this country, which allowed for the establishment of a huge and relatively thriving middle class, came at the expense of the world's poor. This belies the utopian view of global social progress. It's a nice sentiment, but the development of the U.S. is just not an adequate (or even desirable) roadmap for global "progress."

I think we hashed out the population issue in another thread, but I'll just repeat that I think you're missing the point by focusing on population. I'll be damned if I don't want access to birth control for everyone on the planet, but let's not take it farther than that. The poor are not a burden on the wealthy-- they make wealth possible. A complete reorganization of social and economic relations is how you begin to deal with this problem.

As for your criticisms of anarchism... feeding... farming...? I'm not sure what your point is exactly. Most people don't know how to farm in this country, and we're all eating. Likewise in anarchist social organization--not everyone has to know how to do everything. On the individualist end, you have something like a free market... on the collectivist end, you have something akin to "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Not to make too much of the collective/individual dichotomy.

On that note, my second Dave Graeber quote of the day:


Quote:

SD: In the world of politics, philosophical ideas of individualism and collectivism seem to play out. Even within anarchism there are the extremes of both. I was just wondering, where do you stand on these concepts?

DG: In a way, I think itís a false dilemma. Itís a dilemma thatís thrown up by the market as an institution. The market is a really weird thing because it creates the illusion of a kind of individualism that doesnít really exist. I think that it is sort of a strange, aberrant technology in human relations.

Freedom isnít a matter of choice between things that come out of nowhere. Freedom is the freedom to choose what kind of commitments you want to make. So, that idea that commitment to others and individual self-expression are somehow being completely opposed terms is an illusion caused by the aberrant form of society we live under, the market-consumer society. You donít put yourself together with pieces you find in a store. Life isnít really like that and, if you werenít thinking in market terms, you would realize that, unless you want to be a hermit in solitude, the only meaningful thing is the freedom to choose in what ways you can relate to other people.
Post Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:13 am
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Alan Hague



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bigsole wrote:
it would take education a whole generation on all the things that their parents, and their parents parents have missed.


This.

Also, I disagree with the idea that Marx mapped out the details to a post-revolutionary society with great detail. I mean, to a certain extent he did, but toward the end of his life and writings, he maintained that a lot of what should follow a revolution depends on the particulars of each country. It's like trying to predict the future - obviously impossible.

For example, he based a lot of his earlier writings (the Manifesto, for instance) on the Western European capitalist-model, in that capitalism would have to run its brutal, exploitative course before the proletariat would organize organically and rise up. But he (and Engels) understood that things could turn out very differently for Russia and that capitalism may not have to develop completely.

Further, something that really hurt the Russian Revolution was the failure of the German Uprising in the late 1910's/early 1920's. Had Germany become a socialist state, Russia would have had an ally/trading partner, and things would have turned out very, very differently. (Hence, why Lenin supported the idea of "worldwide revolution.")

But that's another story. I don't think I'm a Leninist, but I agree with a good deal of Marx that I've read. Chomsky, as well. I don't think the reorganization of society is impossible or completely idealist, but it would take a tremendous amount of education first, then hard work.
Post Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:30 pm
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Travadone



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Being an anarchist didn't work out for mma fighter jeff monson recently...dumb fuck.
Post Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:40 pm
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