[permaculture] Democracy and Capitalism are in contradiction

Michael Murphy mmurphy at ctsl.com
Sat Jul 19 04:15:25 EDT 2003


I would say the emphasis in capitalism is on the efficient allocation of capital, another scarce resource, to provide the largest possible match or overlap with individuals' needs and wants (the sum total of individual utility functions).
 
If democracy refers to a social system in which the participants as a whole determine how the political system operates, then capitalism refers to an economic system in which the participants as a whole determine what will be produced by the resources available.
 
It's very hard to have a democracy without capitalism, and very hard to have capitalism without a democracy.  Thus the idea that if you want to undermine undemocratic governments (China, Cuba), instead of isolating them, you open them up to capitalism and democracy will follow.
 
Like democracy, capitalism is a very flawed system - but IMO they're both miles ahead of whatever is in second place.
 
Michael Murphy
Bodhitree Farm
Half Moon Bay, California

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: Paul Kosuth [mailto:prkosuth at ll.net] 
	Sent: Thu 7/17/2003 6:39 PM 
	To: permaculture 
	Cc: 
	Subject: Re: [permaculture] Democracy and Capitalism are in contradiction
	
	



	robscott at sdf.lonestar.org wrote:
	
	>I use the term "democracy" to refer to a social system in which the
	>participants as a whole determine how the system operates.
	>I use the term "capitalism" to refer to an economic system in which the
	>owners of capital determine how the system operates.
	>
	> 
	>
	isn't capitalism the economic system with an emphasis on creating
	surplus value and when this surplus value is sold the benefits go to the
	"owners" of the operation rather than the producers of the value (the
	workers.) I strongly agree that capitalism is an economic system but not
	with your specific definition. Rather than a linking of democracy and
	capitalism I see both as being very separate. Democracy is a method of
	choice, capitalism is one of the choices. Which, to me, make life in
	good ol' USA so frustrating when our "leaders" equate democracy and
	capitalism. I keep hoping to vote in communism but I'm not holding my
	breath.
	
	Paul Kosuth
	
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