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Re: Role of markets (was: Re: [ox-en] Re: Fundamental text by StefanMn and StefanMz)

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On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 2:03 PM, Patrick Anderson <agnucius>wrote:

Stefan and everyone,

I'm just trying to understand what is being said here (how terms are
defined), so don't be offended by my following simplistic questions.

*The open questions is therefore: can we have markets without the
unsustainability of the capitalist format and its attendent
biospheric destruction and social and psychic dislocation?*

I would answer this question with "no".

Stefan, are you saying that any trade in ANY form is always
necessarily destructive?

What if there were two people stranded on an island?  Must they stay
isolated in order to preserve the biosphere, or can they get together
and trade labor and products so they can specialize without increasing
harm to the island?

My take is: Capitalists strive for scarcity and destruction not
because of specialization, nor because of trade, but because Profit
(price above cost) is treated as a reward for the current owners, and
also because it is NOT treated as an investment from the consumer who
paid it.  But oh, well, that's just me...


Patrick, I think you are right on a systems level, if we "zoom" back to the
scale of looking at many humans and their interactions.

But what if we "zoom" in to the scale of one human. What is it that drives
that human to *be* a capitalist?

The work and research of Clare W Graves http:?? with people
who possess a "capitalist" world-view suggests that these people are focused
on "coming out on top" on the success of themselves as an individual over
the success of those around them. And, Graves's work also suggests that the
belief is that by gaining control over material resources, the person will
gain control over humans, and thus "come out on top".

The deep, fundamental assumption of the person is that this is what we are
"here" for. That we were put on this earth in this Universe to win the
"game" of "coming out on top".

It is only when "coming out on top" really starts to break down for the
individual person, that they begin to be ready to change and believe things
in new ways. Prior to that crisis and breakdown and it's resultant insight,
people with this world view will almost always filter through "control", and
"one-up/one-down" human hierarchical relationships, because they do actually
believe that competition among individuals, striving towards being the
"master" controller is the best way to ensure that the majority of society
will remain in a state of higher quality. The "stronger" people who believe
as they believe will gain control of the really valuable resources and
things (and people) and the "weaker" ones will mostly fall in line to serve
the "stronger" ones.

Clare W Graves discovered this by asking people to write their
conceptualization of a "mature adult", and to defend their
conceptualizations to one another, and against widely recognized
"authorities" of his time, and then allowed them to revise if the desired

You can read some of those conceptualizations at  in
particular, look at those marked "E-R". This was the "internal-external"
emergent, cyclical, state of existence that Graves recognized as being close
to what we are talking about here.

I think it is possible to create some "growth" based systems that are not
inherently destructive, nor that are based on scarcity. Particularly when
finite resources are voluntarily co-governed as a "commons". In this type of
system, it necessary to "capitalize" on things that are self-renewing in
order to provide enough for everyone in the system.

Yet, there are always limits to any system.

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
AIM: Str9960
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skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose

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