Archive for August, 2011

Socialism is the politics of love

Capitalist society teaches us to hate ourselves, to hate each other. There’s nothing about ourselves that we’re actually encouraged to love unless it fits into some ridiculous norms and standards. We’re taught to compete with each other to get what we need and want, we interact largely in depersonalized and disarticulated ways — this kind of interaction is encouraged. At its worse, it’s the kind of opportunism that tells you to get in touch with someone to the extent that you can use them. These attitudes have become a kind of second nature, so that it seems natural (you know how people say that it’s “human nature” to be greedy).

To change capitalist society we have to replace this hatred with love. But that’s not so simple, when the entire society moulds you into this kind of hate, trying to cultivate love is tough. And to try and change this society without a basis in love is tough. You can’t really do one without the other. So how do we go about it?

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The transition from capitalism to socialism

All of a sudden I find myself reading with keen interest this old school Dobb-Sweezy debate on the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Western Europe, and I’m thinking, why the fuck do I care? Part of it is that I want to move on to other mode of production debates, outside of the European context, and all of that shit. But then there’s something that Sweezy writes — that “we live in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism.” It occurs to me, then, that the reason I’m reading any of it in the first place is because I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that if we aren’t ourselves now living in a time of transition from capitalism to socialism — a time when people are questioning the very roots of capitalism and searching for a humane and just alternative system of organizing the whole wide world — then we damn well ought to be, and I’d like to help make that transition happen.

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