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Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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Dissident Heart

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Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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From Michael Albert's Market MadnessInterviewing Michael Albert About Market Ideology by Mariusz Doszyn and Michael Albert; June 13, 2004 Quote:Free market ideology is about providing justification for aggrandizing the rich and powerful, nothing more. It isn't even about free markets, because whenever statist intervention benefits the rich, free marketeers turn out to favor statist intervention. See whether they are against defense spending, or against police intervention in strikes on the side of owners, for that matter. See if they turn down state subsidies to investment, and state purchases of output, and state protection against international competitors, etc. But even ignoring the hypocrisy, markets are in no sense liberatarian or anarchist. They create a war of each against all, not solidarity, They virtually compel atomistic selfishness, not community. They misprice all items which have external and public affects (whether positive or negative). They compel pursuit of profit or, in the market socialist varient, pursuit of surpluses, both at the expanse of social good. They remunerate producers for ownership and power, and to a modest degree for output, but not for effort and sacrifice, which is the only morally warranted or economically wise remunerative norm. And markets exacerbate and even impose class divisions. Markets are, in short, not even good at what they claim -- determining relative valuations and permitting judgements about allocation which they entirely bias and pervert -- and are horrible at what their advocates don't bother talking about.It seems to me that economic anarchism means seeking to reduce illegitimate hierarchy to a minimum, or zero. Markets do the opposite, imposing on economies class hierarchies, income hierarchies, influence hierchies, etc. I should think anarchism is also intent on economic activity seeking fullfillment of human potentials and needs, whereas markets subordinate that to pursuit of market share and profits or suplus. There is much more to be said, of course, but honestly, this kind of posturing about markets being a boon to humanity is worse than the proverbial king with no clothes -- or then the stalinist commisar claiming to be for democracy and participation.
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Dissident Heart

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Re: Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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Rick,I encourage you to explore the tremendous amount of work being done by Michael Albert under the heading of PARECON: Participatory Economics. Participatory Economics (parecon for short) is a type of economy proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalism.The underlying values parecon seeks to implement are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management.The main institutions to attain these ends are workers and consumers councils utilizing self management decision making methods, balanced job complexes, remuneration according to effort and sacrifice, and participatory planning.An excellent resource for comparing Parecon to Capitalism is Capitalism Versus Participatory EconomicsAlbert has written a brilliant defense of Parecon: Participatory Economics titled ParEcon: Life After Capitalism .An extremely thorough debate and exchange regarding the differences between Parecon and Communist Revolutionary Socialism is available here Movement Building 2004: Vision and Strategy. An Exchange Between Michael Albert and Alex CallinicosA painfully thorough dissection of conservative pundit and hyper-Capitalist David Horowitz by Michael Albert is here at Horowitz / Albert DebatesEnjoy! Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 7/29/04 3:19 pm
RickU

Re: Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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Ok...let's take this at face value. What's the solution? What is a better system? While I agree that a free market economy has often been abuse by the wealthy people and corporations, I still see it as a better form than say, communism. In Vino Veritas
RickU

Re: Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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I'll take a look and respond as I do. I AM glad however, that you do have some sort of alternative in mind..regardless of what it is. In Vino Veritas
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Dissident Heart

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Re: Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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RickU,I find it interesting that simply telling the truth about market abuses and accurately describing the ways in which corporate capitalism undermine democracy and threaten the biosphere...somehow truthfully and accurately describing these things is a problem- if you don't have an alternative in mind to replace the abusive system.I understand an alternative is needed, a new way of structuring society, economy, criminal justice, nation states, military systems, educational practices, etc...we need different ways of doing these things. But why is it a problem to describe the problem without a replacement?I mean, imagine the scenario where a child finally snaps out of the family delusion and denial regarding an abusive father and his alcoholic destructiveness. The child finally says, "This is wrong, you are hurting us, these behaviors poison our home and bodies and wage war on our peace of mind...you must stop!"Is the child some less correct if she doesn't have a system in mind for replacing her drunken abusive father?Of course not.
RickU

Re: Market Madness and Corporate Pathology ala Anarchism

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Oh, none at all. Don't presume a negative where there is none. Describing a problem without having a solution is still valuable...but I think the value is increased when you can suggest a reasonable alternative on top of it. In Vino Veritas
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