Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Buy That Commenter A Pint!

The Guardian CIF pages are hot with the sound of battle at the moment as the Borisite hordes invade all the comment threads on the London Mayoral election and the latest Channel 4 contrarian controversialist effort. All the usual right wing suspects are there and one, a soi-disant right-libertarian who goes by the name of Pike Bishop, or Pikey to CIF regulars, took the opportunity to launch one of his regular attacks on "totalitarian socialism". Whilst for Mr PB the right is a multi faceted thing with various positions, all the left are one homogenous mass of active or latent Stalinism.

Hence this bile:

Quote - FreemanMoxy : "hint for Pikey: "socialism" is a belief that the world should be run for human need"

Whose needs? Who decides? How will those needs be met? Socialism is a deak duck - incoherent and incapable. Didn't work, won't work, can't work. Evil philosophy of theft and slavery.


So hats off to another regular poster, "FreemanMoxy" who today took him to task over his simplistic rubbish and whose post gets today's Greenman's Occasional Prize for services to the libertarian left :

Freemanmoxy begins by addressing Pike Bishops rant about nobody deciding what is fair for him....

Who decides? Well certainly not me. And Not some rinky-dink faux socialist State/Dear Leader neither. That would be "presumptious", to say the least.

I know - how about the people themselves? Socialism doesn't *have* to be all about monolithic state governments, you know. That's a serious imagination failure.

As I tried to make clear, "socialism" is just a concept, which can be implemented in the "real world" in as many ways as capitalism itself has been implemented. It is not a one-size-fits-all template.

You fancy yourself as some sort of libertarian, so get this: What these "human needs" might be, and how to deal with them should be the preserve of decentralised, democratic communities. Not governments; not dictators - and not bosses.

Let the workers "own" their workplaces and let the residents "own" their communities, rather than being - as they are now - serfs and subjects. Then, they can decide how things will be done. Direct democracy. Social libertarianism coupled with economic mutualism. My kinda place.

People owning their own resources and controlling their own lives. Soz, Pikey, but I can't see where your notions of "theft" and "slavery" fit into that.

Now capitalism, with its "Keep Out" notices on previously common land, its unregulated "service charges" and soaring energy bills based on bugger all, plus its funneling of all our wealth into the hands of a few, seems to fit the "theft" template perfectly.

As for "slavery", yer average sweatshop worker doesn't have much time to cavort in "freem", and one look at a) corporate support for old-style fascism and b) their eagerness to make a buck from the current slide into CCTV/detention-without-trial/nanny-state repression rather gives the lie to *their* love for the liberty of yours and mine.

But hey, who cares? Let's all pay more and earn less, and in the meantime we can comfort ourselves by repeating "we are free, we can vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee; we have a wide-screen TeeVee."

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