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Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:18 PM

 

Escapism, reformism, and other coping strategies of capitalist existence

1. There is a paradox at the heart of this global power structure we live in, known as capitalism. It is the result of two contradictory truths.

2A. The first truth is that capitalism is destroying our planet... 2B. The second truth is that we are dependent upon capitalism for our immediate survival.

3A. Most of us would like to avoid facing this paradox... We accept the system’s offer of fantasy and mute our inherent knowledge of the deep wrongness that pervades the real world.

3B. Some braver souls among us face the first truth and so do whatever they can to avoid complicity with the machinery of death and destruction. They may adopt an ethical diet, curb their consumption, or even attempt to “live off the grid” (to the extent this is possible within a global power structure whose tentacles reach into every corner of the Earth). Taken to its extreme, this is the route of escapism. Its goal is moral purity, flight from guilt, the individual satisfaction of knowing you’re no longer part of the problem.

The failure of escapism is that avoiding responsibility for the problem also means avoiding responsibility for the solution. You can take comfort in your moral stance, but with or without your participation, capitalism rolls on, destroying billions of lives.

3C. A different set of folks are more concerned with the second half of the paradox – the fact that we are trapped in this system as bad as it is, and therefore the best we can do is to improve it or make it more fair. They may fight for policy changes through lobbying or even run for office. In its pure form, this is the route of reformism. The aim is to work “within the system,” influence the people in charge, and perhaps become one of them in time. The theory goes that once in a position of power, they would be able to steer the ship in a new direction.

The failure of reformism is that it requires the abandonment of our ideals for actually overthrowing the system or creating a world without capitalism. There’s nothing wrong with making life more livable within the system, but when we become ourselves part of the system, we betray ourselves and we have already lost.

4. By themselves, neither of these two poles, escape or reform, offers us any hope of abolishing capitalism and saving our world. Yet, no way forward can exist without both elements. Rather than fleeing this paradox, if we embrace the absurdity of our situation, we can harness the energy of the contradiction to create something new...

http://endofcapitalism.com/2013/06/13/the-paradox-of-capitalism-and-magnetic-revolutionary-strategy/

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Reply Escapism, reformism, and other coping strategies of capitalist existence (Original post)
HiPointDem Jul 2013 OP
babylonsister Jul 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jul 2013 #2
leftstreet Jul 2013 #3
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #4
HiPointDem Jul 2013 #5
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #6
reformist2 Jul 2013 #7
PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #8
PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #9

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:24 PM

1. So either be VERY angry, or we are screwn?

Nah. I think that those of us who acknowledge problems and discuss them are better off than not doing so.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:25 PM

2. what does that have to do with the article? answer: nothing.

 

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:31 PM

3. If the system is screwing you, you're probably already angry

The article is talking about direction, movement, strategy, struggle...for change

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:46 PM

4. Assumes that the abolition of capitalism is the only solution.

 

Capitalism as it was conceived is remarkably efficient, so efficient that it necessitates the danger of misuse as we see today. It is a matter of understanding priorities, who or what is the goal? If we make society the priority, that being the well-being of every member of it, capitalism is a panacea.

We see other people moving toward an optimal balance in other parts of the world, proving that Socialism and Capitalism are not mutually exclusive.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:52 PM

5. efficient? no. overall, capitalism is hugely wasteful. and i see no one moving toward any

 

"optimal balance" anywhere on the planet. rather the opposite.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 26, 2013, 11:36 AM

6. Then I say you need to look more closely. Democratic Socialism is the best model

 

in use on earth at this time, and while it can be made better, they are mostly moving in the right direction. The welfare of the people is paramount. After a universal standard of living is established and the commons defined, capitalism is the best model we have to promote efficiency.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jul 26, 2013, 11:40 AM

7. I don't see other economic systems destroying the planet much less.


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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jul 26, 2013, 11:47 AM

8. Escapism can work, if enough people participate.

 

the other day I posted this.
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The chain that bind us to them (the capitalists) is the US Dollar. The citizens of this country need to divorce themselves from it completely. They need to sell any stock that they may have in public corporations. They need to find another means of acquiring what they need for survival besides trading in the US dollar.

I was thinking that you could start with your local city or county. You could create a "public works" type of a system where a person can trade their labor to pay off public debt for Utilities and Property taxes. No dollars would be exchanged in this process. Nothing that could be save/traded/horded would exist in the process. All labor would be treated equally valuable. Municipalities would have much more labor and possibly be able to drop the use of private contractors for services. Citizens could possibly learn new, valuable skill sets.

Long term, there would need to be a way to acquire things currently made by the corporate world. Possibly the creation of citizen owned cooperatives that trade within this same system.

I know that this would likely end of evolving into a system similar to our current monetary system. The trick would be not allowing the "capital" to exist beyond the current need. it could not be horded for future use or to purchase more than your fair share.

More minds and stronger minds than mine would have to be involved with how to create such a system.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3341969

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jul 26, 2013, 12:46 PM

9. kick

 

I do not understand why we are unwilling to talk about the root cause of the issues of the country. The economic system and the inequality which it creates are the root cause of most every issue we face.

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