Message 04150 [Homepage] [Navigation]
Thread: oxenT04125 Message: 3/6 L2 [In index]
[First in Thread] [Last in Thread] [Date Next] [Date Prev]
[Next in Thread] [Prev in Thread] [Next Thread] [Prev Thread]

Re: [ox-en] built-in infinite growth

Hi Adam and all,

On 2008-01-07 08:47, Adam Arvidsson wrote:
That is a tricky question. Profit maximization in itself is much
older than modern capitalism.

I don't think so, because there was no profit and its logic before 
capitalism. It is a completely different story, that some cultures seek 
for producing more and more (say the romans when building their ships 
leading to a environmental catastrophe etc.).

Sometimes I call this intrinsic logic "cybernetic". The picture of 
a "self-organizing cybernetic machine" for capitalism works very well.

Under the regime of C-M-C external goals are responsible for the aim to 
produce more goods (for war etc.). Under the regime of M-C-M' profit 
maximization is and end in itself, it is driven by the immanent logic 
within competition.

I can see three partial explanations:

-economies of scale ( which is mentioned below) this is indeed one of
the core components of modern capitalism and, in competitive
conditions it does support the drive for profit maximization.

True, but this is a means to survive under conditions of competition. 
The main point here is the competition.

- the iron cage itself, i.e. the whole institutional structure that
supports modern capitalism and that that point sin the direction of
profit max, here we can include  private property, an interest based
monetary system, competition and commercial law etc.

- cultural explanations: the unique factors that produced a modern
capitalist spirit in the west (protestantism, individualism, modern
rationalism) etc.

These both are results, not causes for the intrinsic logic. Well, you 
find some ideological "preparations" during the initial phase of 
capitalism, however, they cannot explain the logic of the cybernetic 

'Alienation' is not so much an explanation as a description of the
phenomenon of an institutionalized and 'alien' logic of profit max.

You are right, the main point is the alien logic of profit maximization.

My suggestion is that we look at a complex interaction between (at
least) these three factors as an explanation. That way we might also
get a more detailed understanding of what an institutional embodiment
of an alternative logic might look like.

An alternative logic must break with _any_ alien logic. The core of an 
alternative logic must be the individual and the selbstentfaltung.


Start here:
Contact: projekt

Thread: oxenT04125 Message: 3/6 L2 [In index]
Message 04150 [Homepage] [Navigation]