[ox-en] Giving up politics (was: Re: Meaning of markets, scarcity, abundance)
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 19:17:51 +0200
I'm working on my mail backlog. This is a reply to a very old mail
from Michel who at the moment prefers to not be with us. It is a very
important reply because I think it points to a major difference. (I'm
sorry for the lack of context you may experience but "text above /
full quote below" replies make things difficult :-( ).
18 months (550 days) ago Michael Bauwens wrote:
Your distinguishing of scarcity and limitedness is interesting, but
not vital I think, as my own usage of scarcity does not depend on
any 'objectivity', but simply that there is more demand than supply,
and that demand can be subjective or a result of a market.
This is really a strong opinion because it basically means to reject
politics. With this opinion Michel simply take things as given and
give up political measures to have an influence here altogether.
Michel is not interested why things are the way they are. I think I
understand something very important about the differences between me
and Michel here...
issue is that without mechanism, the resource would be depleted.
And this is of course a logical result of dropping politics. To
prevent depletion of resources is of course a political topic and you
need governance to address this problem. If you remove politics then
you only have some magic left. Well, all we know is that capitalist
magic does not save us from resource depletion...
Contrary to Michel I don't think that politics may be given up. In the
contrary: A peer production based world where the command of money is
removed *allows* for politics to play a role again. And by politics I
mean humans organizing their lives based on their decision - and not
on be driven by some alienated market imperative. Governance is not to
be removed but to be replaced by an unalienated governance.
Anyway, I find scarcity better precisely because of its limitation,
namely that it is scarce for human need. That it is limited in an
abstract sense, is less interesting.
Well, I'm a bit shocked actually. Limitations are a result of
political decisions and nothing else. But I understand that this is
"abstract" to Michel...
What I'm not sure is why it is the commodity-money cycle (M-C-M)
that is responsible for infinite growth. I think this cycle was
operating in stable local markets long before capitalism.
That was exactly the change which capitalism brought. The
pre-capitalist cycles were C-M-C - or rather Good - Money - Good
because usually often the goods have not been produced for the market
and thus were not commodities. It is precisely this change of the role
of money which makes comparing capitalist and pre-capitalist money
So please explain by M-C-M is by itself sufficient for infinite
It's easy: Why should you invest M to produce C if not to end up with
M' where M' > M? The growth is built into modern, exchange based
production. To look for it elsewhere is misleading at best.
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