I just happened to be out at a festival in Brooklyn this past week and there was a table from the AK Press, as there are frequently. On the table are a few dozen pamphlets with Anarchist reads. so I took about 20, just to see what the people at this particular event are taking in. I’m not sure how many people were reading this stuff, because I was the only person asking questions at the free literature table for at least 30 minutes. This text Capitalism, class and class struggle for (ex) dummies tries to sum up capitalism in a friendly way, they even call the readers (ex) dummies. I’m unsure who the authors are, as they weren’t presented, but I do know that it came from someone or many @IOHNYC via @libcomorg & @AKPressDistro.
This critique will be short and is specific to Integrationalism which is the notion that we are all physiologically connected; based on my previous writings on “Human Nature / Technological Determinism / Competition as as spawn of Individualism”. The brief read was entertaining, and the use of prose made their concept of capitalism digestible. It elaborates that capitalism was established by other-than “natural” forces. More specifically: violence and imperialism. Sorts of politics by the first advanced countries in Europe as they aimed to compete for scarce resources.
- Humans cannot have nature.
- Technology is deterministic when applied to the human condition.
- Individualism has spawned competitive events resulting in arbitrage.
The term nature will forever be ambiguous, because of its reference to the physical world; and as we are physical entities, all that we can know is a apart of the physical world/realm. “Natural” can also reference a nostalgic or more primitive state of existing socially and technologically. This is where I have to assume that the argument for capitalism by force (for lack of better phrases) stems. This notion of force is a false, as the first technologically elite nations fought over scarce land, resources, and allusive faiths. This competition stems from the inherent arbitrage that already existed by a more primitive brand of capital from tribal times: land & people.
We live in a dynamic physical realm where growth is essential to our survival. Human-kind is inherently ambitious in this regard.
While it is impossible phenomenologically for human’s to actually have a nature about themselves, the one thing that we’ve always tried to do is control our situation to better manage the risks of uncertainty. It’s not an ill mission, but the pathology of our altruism often shows that it is our most stifling virtue. Projecting our idea of greatness onto the entire population is not progressive, even as technology progresses. we must compel growth via our technologies.
Regardless of the horrible brand at places like http://capitalism.org/ the economic phenomena (not system) of Capitalism is human-kinds most technologically advanced attempt at distribution of values, and while it has its flaws, the growth and ability of our information tech and bio tech will allow us the opportunity (if we so choose to seize it) to better distribute value and compel growth by participation of persons. This text called Capitalism for (ex)dummies is misleading and a dangerous attempt to bring attention to one of the most important issues of any time.