We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Market greed or a planned economy for human need?

by Dave Holmes from Socialist Alliance (Australia). 

Although I don't agree with some of the details of this lecture, it does provide a good discussion of the flaws of capitalism and the virtue of a system that is based on democratic planning to meet social needs. You can see why the ruling classes of capitalism so aggressively attack any hint of ideas that suggest public ownership of the economy to serve the needs of all people in society. 

Broadly speaking, where I differ is related to what I perceive to be a weakness of those coming from the Marxist-Leninist tradition. They give far too much lip service to "democratic" features of socialism and neglect the real substance of inclusive democratic participation of ordinary people in all the social arrangements. Their ideas seem to me to be too stuck in the ideas of that tradition.