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Against Proleatarianism- against Monopoly

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) writes | more than 5 years ago

User Journal 18

It occurs to me that I haven't written about my favorite Catholic economist in a while GK Chesterton. He's got some interesting ideas from the concept of subsidarity- which every Libertarian likes until you try to convince them of the protectionist laws that would be required to break up monopolies and encourage subsidarity.

However, we've got two new problems (which those same neoconservative libertarian "small governme

It occurs to me that I haven't written about my favorite Catholic economist in a while GK Chesterton. He's got some interesting ideas from the concept of subsidarity- which every Libertarian likes until you try to convince them of the protectionist laws that would be required to break up monopolies and encourage subsidarity.
 
However, we've got two new problems (which those same neoconservative libertarian "small government" people also like to ignore) that Chesterton didn't have when he was writing: Peak Oil and Global Warming. I suggest that hidden behind a Baltic Dry Index hovering around 0 is a whole lot of oil usage and carbon/sulfur dioxide release, caused merely by having lines of *max container ships constantly running all over the world.
 
Chesterton's system solves this problem rather neatly- only information is traded between communities, and the principle of subsidarity requires the factory be as close to the end consumer as possible, eliminating the need for shipping.
 
In addition, this fulfills the second great requirement of solidarity- that the consumers and workers are one, with united interests, against the forces that would centralize economic control, whether that be in government or stock market.
 
So give ol' GK a read sometime- and open your mind up to a third possibility, a Civilization of Love rather than a Civilization of the State or a Civilization of the Market.

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18 comments

ii (1)

Mer_panacea (1381133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857389)

>Chesterton's system solves this problem rather neatly- only information is traded between communities, and the principle of subsidarity requires the factory be as close to the end consumer as possible, eliminating the need for shipping.

This is also a core of your thought.

Thirty years ago almost all information was monopolised in either Tokyo or Kansai region in Japan, so we were obliged to think about learning in either of the two regions. Because we couldn't obtain enough books in local area.

I started to consider moving to the US to learn more when I was the third grade at the University. Because I thought it was hard to acquire surroundings surrounded only by international common language. So I went to the US. About a year I enjoyed its ambience fully.

How about now? Do I have to go to Tokyo to obtain enough informatin? No. I can get it through the net. Do I have to go to the US to fully enjoy the flood of information? No. I can get it through the net.

Now the time has changed from the age of centralised, monopolised system to decentralised, multilateral world where we can find as many hubs of information and knowledge as possible.

I first saw the name Chesterton in a dialog between you and Mike Hawk and got curious since then.

Our age has come closer to his ideal more and more.

     

Re:ii (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26875847)

And the weird bit is that his ideal comes from a time when all the world worked this way- this was the power of the Roman Empire.

Re: Chesterton (1)

Mer_panacea (1381133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26892885)

In late 18th century when Admiral Perry comes to Japan with the four Black ship the population of the United States and Japan was almost the same. Just twenty years ago the US was two times as populous as Japan. Now population of US is over three hundred million, exceeding Japan almost three times.

The average number of kids in a family in Japan is one point something, by the year 2055 the populatin of Japan will be reduced to 89 hundred million accrding to a survey.

Culture without universality never prevails.

Re: Chesterton (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26893067)

One can have universal culture without physical trade, IF one still has other forms of communication.

No, that won't work. (1)

loucura! (247834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864835)

Chesterton's system solves this problem rather neatly- only information is traded between communities, and the principle of subsidarity requires the factory be as close to the end consumer as possible, eliminating the need for shipping.

That would only work if natural resources were evenly distributed amongst communities.

Re:No, that won't work. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26875931)

That would only work if natural resources were evenly distributed amongst communities.
 
In the United States and England, they were in the time of Chesterton- because it was the distribution of natural resources that largely dictated the 17th to 19th century settlement distribution. When shipping was expensive and took a good percentage of a year, you HAD to have the basic Maslow needs and not a few luxuries produced close to the consumer.
 
That changed for the middle part of the 20th century, as diesel power replaced steam and sail, at least economically. But what Chesterton points out is that our morality didn't keep up- our economic systems still work best within two degrees of familiarity, and have a tendency to break down, either with fraud or simple differences in standard of living, beyond that.
 
And what I'm pointing out is that a combination of Peak Oil and Global Warming is bringing an end to the diesel power era- with nothing much able to replace it, save perhaps a return to local production.

Another problem (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26869649)

In addition, this fulfills the second great requirement of solidarity- that the consumers and workers are one, with united interests, against the forces that would centralize economic control, whether that be in government or stock market.

This assumes a level of homogeneity that is laughable.

Re:Another problem (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26876063)

This assumes a level of homogeneity that is laughable.
 
And yet, approximately 1/6th of humanity already has the metaculture to support this (Maybe 2/6ths, when you consider that the Hindu Caste System also resembles this when viewed from certain castes).

Re:Another problem (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26879301)

1/6 or 1/3 is not homogeneous. I'd also ask for examples from the first world. Squeezing toothpaste back into the tube...

Re:Another problem (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26879537)

Uh, the 1/6th includes a meta culture mix that IS the First World- Roman Catholicism is in every first world country, and in many first world countries is the largest religion by plurality.

Re:Another problem (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880867)

By what standard do you figure that Roman Catholics are homogeneous? You need look no further than the exit polls from November [cnn.com] to see that they aren't a monolithic group.

Re:Another problem (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885827)

American exit polls are a horrible place to judge Catholic homogeneous meta-culture: there isn't a single American Politician who fits the Church's preferred public policy mold, so it gets left to the individual's personal preference among Church teachings for voting.

If you ever find a Socially Conservative Fiscal Liberal who will create that UN mandated "separate economy for pregnant women and children" that the Vatican insisted be in the declaration of human rights, let me know- I'll vote for him in a second, and I go to two parishes full of liberal and conservative Catholics who will also vote for him because charity is the obvious way to build a culture of life.

I like it (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26870959)

No, not the linked treatise. I don't know if Chesterton was as big a socialist as that piece painted him to be, but that Catholic Workers movement definitely looks like bad news.

It's the principle of subsidiarity that I like -- "...a middle course between the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and the various forms of communism, which subordinate the individual to the state, on the other." [wikipedia.org] Others may argue, but I don't see subsidiarity as incompatible with capitalism, just as one of prolly several good restraints on it. I.e. I think one can have capitalism without say religious adherence to the sub-principle of locating production where it's at its utmost efficiency. This leads to too much consolidation, with not just some economic drawbacks, but potentially security and health-wise as well. So some purity of capitalism can be sacrificed when the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. I.e. when it serves us better, which I'd argue is capitalism's proper role.

Re:I like it (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26876161)

I also think local subsidies is a better way to accomplish this than local tariffs. Here's why: A local subsidy insures that local standard of living is upheld for the worker. This also incorporates the idea of solidarity- that you stand with your neighbors against invasion of either the free market, OR communistic government, into your local affairs.
 
I'd be very satisfied with that form of capitalism- one that embodies subsidiarity in local production, without sacrificing solidarity with one's neighbors.
 
  Unfortunately, under a either corporatism or laissez-faire capitalism, subsidiarity and solidarity are limited to communes and unions and cooperatives. All other means of production are owned by the free market, that is, that small oligarchy of owners to whom the real benefits of efficiency belong.

Re:I like it (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26882271)

I agree, but just want to point out that don't lump unions into that. Unions are just the other side of the coin from corporations. I.e. both are fine while they're kept small, but allowed to grow too big are abusive to society -- they exert unfair advantage over the other and the people, for their own gains. Look at the definition of subsidiarity again: "Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralised competent authority." [wikipedia.org] Corporations are fine, unions are fine, just nothing should be allowed to grow large. Consolidation is the enemy.

Re:I like it (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886383)

I agree, but just want to point out that don't lump unions into that. Unions are just the other side of the coin from corporations. I.e. both are fine while they're kept small, but allowed to grow too big are abusive to society -- they exert unfair advantage over the other and the people, for their own gains.
 
I was thinking more of Lech Walsh and the Solidarity Unions of Poland- where instead of corporations they only had government at the time.
 
  Look at the definition of subsidiarity again: "Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralised competent authority." [wikipedia.org] Corporations are fine, unions are fine, just nothing should be allowed to grow large. Consolidation is the enemy.

 
And that's quite true. Just about every economic system ever imagined works well with less than 1000 people.

Re:I like it (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26900721)

Just about every economic system ever imagined works well with less than 1000 people.

(Kinda overshadowed tho by most of them being patently immoral.)

Re:I like it (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902663)

(Kinda overshadowed tho by most of them being patently immoral.)
 
Actually, the smaller the society, the more moral each individual becomes, out of shame. If there is no anonymity, there's no way to escape the temporal punishment of your sin, so it's easier just to not sin to begin with.
 
Note I'm being Catholic again here- I said the temporal punishment of your sin, that is, the effects of a sin on your relationships with other human beings. The eternal effects of your sin, that is the effect of a sin on your relationship with God, is between you and Jesus as far as I'm concerned.

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