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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Dismal Science: #Occupy And Economic Alternatives To Capitalism

Gilded Age

This interview of Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy, by Richard Wolff at Truthout, Economic Alternatives To Capitalism is worth a read/listen.

Discussed are, of course, alternatives to free-market capitalism with its usual considerations of the ownership of capital, and some important points about ideological rigidity against anything that smacks of "socialism," and how new, yes, "socialist" arrangements are popping up organically in this country under pressure of the failures that our current brand of market worship is bringing us.

There are some good points in there about how to talk about these things in the face of the very effective propaganda that has equivalenced "socialism" with "Stalinism" in the American mind. The inference I got was that these "ways of talking about it" are crucial, in the interviewer's and author's minds, to adopting these alternate systems.

I'll not talk about the cooperatives, etc., that they discuss (and do go listen, because they are very interesting and informative), because economics is the dismal science, and I do find it so dreary. The only reason I understand any of it at all is because modern times requires it.

No, what I want to talk about is more basic, and it dovetails, once again, with the #Occupy movement, it's "message," and the critics of its efficacy.

I hear Wolff and Alperovitz discussing the problems with proselytizing for new systems in much the same way I hear critics of #OWS discussing its messaging problems.

"You gotta say it before you do it."

This is not only a fundamental problem in the implementation of effective organic solutions of the problems with face, it is symptomatic of the causes of the problems themselves.

While there is a structure to any solution that comes about, it is a mistake to think that a pre-conceived structure is required before it does.

What #Occupy is doing is simply being done. What the emerging systems of cooperative ownership and control are doing are simply being done. There are not pre-conceived ideologies, pre-conceived structures, being evaluated and imposed.

They are simply happening. Yes, they are informed by past experience, but they are mostly being informed by current pressures. This is how things happen in the real world.

There is simply too much information about what we are as organic beings to be understood by any of even our greatest minds to come up with solutions that address our needs in a wholesome way.

The structure to any solution that comes about must be discovered, after it organically appears while we are going about our business of loving and surviving.

With all apologies to the Creationists - this is how life itself, how we came into being in the first place.

We are mysteries. We will all be far better off if we treat ourselves as such.

#OccupyEverywhere!

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