When a kid buys his first car in the Capitalist System

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 30 14:50:17 MDT 2002

Jon Johanning wrote:

> And this concerns only the subject of cars. What about all of the
> other components of the material life of the average contemporary
> American? (Not to mention the rest of the human race.) I don't see
> much discussion of all of these among issues among socialist
> theoreticians these days. And yet these are precisely the sort of
> questions that non-socialists are likely to raise first when you get
> into debates with them.

Actually, these sorts of questions are the daily bread of Doug Henwood's
LBO-Talk email list (http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/lbo-talk.html)
and Michael Perelman's PEN-L (http://csf.colorado.edu/pen-l/) to a
lesser degree. I not only avoid such discussions myself but discourage
them here since they by necessity lead in a kind of utopian/blueprint
direction. When workers in the USA begin to move consciously against
capitalism, they will not sit down like accountants and draw up a
balance sheet between what can be gained or lost in terms of material
benefits (cars, food, etc.) in a revolution. From what I know of
previous revolutions in history, people only take such drastic actions
when they see the current system as unworkable. People are very
conservative by nature and only conduct a struggle for power as a last
resort. If and when the American workers or workers in any advanced
country take power, the economic system will reflect the relationship of
class forces internationally, the maturity of the forces of production
and a need for pragmatism. Other than that, we cannot predict what
American socialism will look like. We only know for sure that unless
capitalism is eradicated, we will face continuing war, economic hardship
and ecological crisis.


Louis Proyect

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