Ron Press anclondon at
Mon Mar 27 22:12:34 MST 1995

Hi In reply to

>>>>>>> From: Howie Chodos <howie at> Can we ever say that
there is some bottom line that will oblige people to act to change
the way society is organized, some horror so great that it compels
us towards radical change, some spectre of chaos or barbarism so
horrific that we will embrace any alternative that promises an
improvement no matter how marginal?  <<<<<<<<<<<

I beleive that this describes the position in South Africa.

 The local and international capitalists realised that Apartheid
 was no longer viable. It did not pay. It no longer supplied
 sufficient suitable labour. The anti-apartheid forces including
 the SACP and international supporters also realised that with the
 demise of the USSR there was no realistic possibility for the
 armed overthrow of the regime. This gave rise to the as far as I
 know unique changes, and the unique govermental structure as at

Chaos was developing. Un-governability was widespread. Political
murder had become a way of life. General srtrikes ocurred
regularly. The alternative was greater disruption and chaos. This
still looms.

I do not suggest that such a result is nesessarily the only one.
Clearly Angola, Rwanda, Bosnia, so far have not followed a similar
path. The fear of disaster and widespread human misery is not in
itself sufficient for `reason' to find a way.

I submit that the birth of the USSR took place in the midst of the
chaos of the first world war. This gave rise to the system of
Soviets. This was also unique for it's time. The abandonment of
the Soviet system and it's transformation into the dictatorship of
the party (it was supposed to be the proletariat) lead to the
ultimate disaster of recent years.

The future will tell if the leadership and the people of South
Africa recognise that the present system, in embrio. Will it be
developed or will it be transmuted into some dictatorship or a
renewal of the capitalist system with a new face?

The emergence of species is instructive. A  chap Stuart Kauffman
has written about fitness landscapes, of how a system would pass
from one peak to another and under what conditions. It is all
rather mathematical and beyond my maths but very instructive. It
is applicable to genetic changes and the emergence of new species.
He discusses the pressures, internal and external, necessary to
force a system to pass from one fitness peak to another. It seems
to me to say a great deal about species and their transformation.
This is not unlike ot change from one mode of production to

Society is more complex not only because of the physical nature
but also because it is the result of human intervention. This adds
all sorts of factors such as psycology, emotions, irrationality,

>>>>> In other words, is capitalism really heading for chaos, or
does it still have a lot of life left in it as long as there is
not a superior alternative on the horizon?

I beleive that all the signs are that capitalism is no longer able
to ensure the preservation of the human race. It is not just
because of the irrational divorce money value from use value. Of
the money market, and so on but also so many other things. Global
warming is not just a scientists imaginings. The ecology, the
resource, the spiraling seperation of the poor from the rich all
are indicators of a chrisis. But it will not of itself lead to a
more rational system. Those in charge at the present will to coin
a phrase be rather dead than red. Especially if the dead are you
and me and our kids. (I am sorry to say that the USA seems top
dog, or does that insult the doggy world.)  It is up to people, (
even people like us) to do what we can, in what ever way we can,
to develop an alternative. Frankly as far as I am concerned almost
anything would be superior to what happens under the cloak of

Ron Press

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