[ox-en] Robinsonades (was: Re: Role of markets)
- From: Stefan Meretz <stefan.meretz hbv.org>
- Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 22:11:40 +0200
On 2008-08-12 20:03, Patrick Anderson wrote:
*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
Any _market_ form _today_: yes. At least over time. This is not only my
theoretical insight, but also my practical observation with so many
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?
Why should they trade in order to specialize? Especially in a Robinson
situation it would be crazy to implement such dump overhead.
What you present here is the typical view of a human society: Humans are
naturally isolated atoms and they only become social by exchange. This
is simply wrong. However, capitalism delivers such images: Isolated
people ("monades") produce, and they must come to a market, in order to
become real human beings: I exchange, therefore I am. Do you see the
intrinsic inhumanity of capitalism? Should we really reproduce this
again and again by using market approaches for our "alternative"
I do not agree with the assertion that every player (every human on
earth?) must follow the destructive goal of "making more money from
You are right, humans they can decide against the law. But then they are
no longer players. Seriously, there are some big players who did this.
It is a practical alternative.
There are many micro-economies (such as in families or maybe in some
small communes) where action is taken (work) for the sole purpose of
PRODUCT, not for PROFIT.
They are NOT economies exactly for the reason you describe. From the
standpoint of an enterprise economy, every child is a miss-investment
and humankind then would die. Capitalism can only survive, because
there are yet enough spaces in life which are _not_ occupied by its
logic. And those space are mostly carried by women.
But if you think none of us can ever escape such a fate, then why
even try to promote the http://Oekonux.org ideals? If we are
destined to lose, then why try?
I don't understand. If no player (human) can ever possibly do
anything beyond being a Capitalist pawn, then shouldn't we just give
No, by no means. I just what to prevent to do the old stuff again and
again. I what to raise the question what is really NEW within peer
practicies, and what is simply a modified old. Thus what we should
support, and what we should let it go (we can't prevent anything).
I wonder would anyone here be interested in a sort of 'simulation'
thread where we could pick apart and debug these questions by
presenting the smallest economy (2 isolated humans), and then asking
small questions about the market (trade) that occurs there?
These are Robinsonades of old traditional political economists who love
them, and already Marx made jokes about them.
I think we really have a chance to pinpoint the problem if we take
such an approach to keep us from getting otherwise lost in the
Sorry, this won't work, because the basic assumptions of isolated human
beings are a wrong starting point. There is no start below the level of
a self-reproducing society. All other approaches are under-complex.
Start here: www.meretz.de
Contact: projekt oekonux.de