anticipation of demand

wesley david cecil wcecil at ucs.indiana.edu
Wed Nov 2 22:59:34 MST 1994



On Wed, 2 Nov 1994 tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu wrote:

> Steve,
> So the problem with planning vis.innovation is there's too much equality,
> and demand is universalized rather than the province of middle-class
> auto and motorbike fanatics? That really makes planning undesirable to me.

I would like to agree with this sentiment.

>
> The source of innovation in a democratic planned society is (a) the desire
> of workers to replace themselves with machines so they can fuck off or
> do their own thing (b) the desire of workers to do their own thing, which
> can increasingly be, among growing numbers of workers, to cooperatively
> innovate new and wilder and and much  more fun leisured items.
>
I am a bit concerned with what seems to me an underlyng endorsement of
innovation as a good and with a kind of un-critical acceptance that
whatever workers come up with or whatever they choose to do with their
leisure time is going to be great.  First, why is innovation necessarily
going to be worth a damn.  We have lot's of innovation now, and a lot of
it is not that helpful.  If a worker creates a machine that produces
guns, or missles, or nerve gas, or heavy -metals and thus replaces
his/herself, is this good?  What about cars?  At some level you have to
decide what you want produced or else this would not seem to work so
well.  Second, once that worker has some free time who is to say they are
going to use it in socially rsponsible ways?  Again, unless you have
educational systems to train people to behave in certain ways, it seems a
bit utopic to assume free-time equals a nice world.  So while I am all in
favor of more free time, I am not sure this marks in and of itelf a very
promising avenue for social change(although a concerted effort for a 32
hour work week would, I think, do wonders for our nonetheless still
Capitalist society).

Wes


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