The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78659   Message #1420365
Posted By: Piers
25-Feb-05 - 03:31 AM
Thread Name: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Subject: RE: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Thank you Don, that is very interesting. I would have to class them as a utopian cult though. Whilst there is definetly a strong Marxist and socialist influence (e.g. is the 'money—>capital—>money formula' is a paraphrase of Marx's M-C-M (Das Kapital, chap 4)? But the C stands for commodity not capital, not that it makes sense unless compared to commodity->money->commodity (money as a simple exchange), money->commodity->money is buying something to sell it, capitalism).

A fundamental flaw in their goal of acheiving technocracy is that they believe capitalism will collapse. This is an erroneous idea, often attributed to Marx (check this out for further info: http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pdf/wcwnc.pdf). They also assume that scientific opinion is always the same and that calculation of production values based on energy will never generate conflicts, and if it did who's in charge?. I suspect that they percieve a need for a single calculating mechanism in response to von Mises' 'economic calculation argument' against socialism - but that is another story. They also seem to assume that people will be able to accept having an equal share of everything, an idea that Marx specifically ridiculed in Critique of the Gotha Programme, i.e. that everybody has the same needs. I also can't quite see in their writings why technocracy should only apply to North America and not other developed parts of the world. There is also certain amount of hypocrisy, despite wanting to get rid of subjective things like politics and religion they appeal to 'patriotic North Americans'.

Whilst I agree, broadly, with their analysis of the inherent poverty in capitalism and that this can only be acheived by abolishing capitalism. I do not agree that common/social ownership could be run by technocracy but that common/social ownership of the means of production can only be acheived by common/social control, i.e. through democratic decision making.