imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Alternatives to Capitalism

by Conrad Schuler Saturday, Mar. 06, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Neoliberalism, financial market-driven capitalism, intensifies the crises. However the root of evil lies in the developmental laws of capitalism. Neoliberalism is based on double standards and double speak where CEOs are job creators and workers are cost factors.


Lessons from the Past Experiments of Economic Democracy

By Conrad Schuler

[This essay published in: Chapter V of the isw report 79 (January 2010) is translated from the German on the Internet. Conrad Schuler is an economist with the Institute for Social-Ecological Economic Research in Munich.]

In the isw report 79 (January 2010) we analyzed what course capitalism takes and must take on account of its inner law, what alternative exists today, how past attempts to overcome capitalism should be judged and what lessons are suggested by these attempts.

The conclusions are:

1) Neoliberalism, “financial market-driven capitalism,” intensifies the crises. However the root of evil lies in the developmental laws of capitalism. The crises arise out of the general functional logic of capitalism – the crisis of the real economy, the financial sector, social insecurity, poverty, hunger, the environment, democracy, increasing wars and threat of war. To overcome them, a moderating mode of regulation of the capitalist economy is not enough. Intervention in the functioning mechanism of the capitalist economy is necessary. The logic and power of capital must be halted by democratizing decisions in the economy.

2) Capitalism has no strategy for solving its contradictions and cannot have one. The “Public New Deal” and the “Green New Deal” do not change the growth pressure, the pressure of growing exploitation of resources and people. Today capitalism has lost the active approval of large parts of the population. Passive acceptance of its regime is not guaranteed for the growing number of “losers.” The way out that capitalism holds ready is authoritarian inwards and militarily aggressive outwards.

3) On the other hand, the human alternative is: cooperation in society instead of competition, solidarity among the nations instead of murderous “global competition.” Three possible strands of criticism of capitalism and partisanship for a new society can be identified: people driven by capitalism into existential distress both in its interior and its “periphery,” people who for ethical reasons reject a society where success consists in triumphing over others or war against everyone standing in the way of maximum profit and people who affirm or accept capitalism but regard the ruthless exploitation of humans and nature as economically absurd.

4) The theoretical discussions and historical experiences with socialization of the means of production and introduction of elements of economic democracy lead to important discoveries for the further strategy of the struggle for democracy in the economy and society.

4.1) The early “model experiments” of cooperatives of anarchists and utopian communists confirmed the criticism of Marx that “socialism of the petty-bourgeoisie” involved only niche-projects condemned to fail that diverted from what was essential, namely the “negation of capitalism,” overcoming capitalist power relations in the general economy. Cooperatives in competition on the capitalist market are subject to the same laws as their capitalist rivals. The “social standards,” the parameters guiding the aggregate economy, must be changed.

4.2) This struggle, the “negation of capitalism,” must be waged under the condition of the hegemony of capitalism. Drawing an abstract ideal for a model makes no sense. In the words of Marx, “communism for us is not a state that can be produced or an ideal according to which reality has to be directed. Communism is the real movement that abolishes the present state. The conditions result from the presuppositions that now exist.

4.3) How the struggle ends is completely open. The “natural law” of the proletariat abolishing capitalism established by Marx is not in effect. The proletariat or working class is not the only reliable power in the conflict with capitalism. Capitalism can be stopped in its march into catastrophe. Still a key role comes to the working class. The anti-capitalist forces become stronger for “objective” reasons.

4.4) One of the early Marxist ideas was that state authority had to be first conquered and the economy and society democratized with its directives. In his studies on the Paris Commune, Marx relativized this idea. The state itself must be completely changed. The governmental power of command must pass into a solidarity social constitution on all planes and in all sectors. The “real movement that abolishes the present state” consists in advancing democracy on the most different social planes. “Revolution” means the public and social groups taking over decisions in the economy and society.

4.5) As the experiences and problems of the council-republic showed after the First World War in Germany, an economistic narrowing of the factories as the “political nerve center” of society must be democratized and all parts of the population – whether employed in big businesses or not – must cooperate equally.

4.6) As a rule, reforms in capitalism including the increase of democracy in the economy have a double character. On one side, they stabilize the dominance of capital that is given a “rest” with the reform. But secondly and crucially, the position of those emphasizing structural change is strengthened. According to Kautsky’s saying, every reform is right that builds the position of anti-capitalist forces.

4.7) The Scandinavian model offers two lessons. First, it demonstrates that the capitalist accumulation model can actually be joined with a mode of regulation that is far more social than the neoliberal model. In Sweden, social benefits are higher, education is independent of social origin and the capitalist economy develops at least as well as in strict neoliberal countries. Sweden provides the empirical proof that it is not enough to practice “functioning socialism,” the social regulation of damages caused by the capitalist economy. In the last years and above all in the crisis, the protective social fences of the social state were largely dismantled. To prevent this, workers and the society must intervene in the use of the means of production. Thus property must be socialized.

4.8) Concrete socialism did not run aground in the principles of socialization of the means of production and overall social planning but in a crucial deficiency, the lack of democracy. This failure has much to do with a “birth defect,” that the new social order was introduced by avant-garde parties, guerillas or foreign troops, not by democratic mass movements. In additional considerable “endogenous” errors (and crimes) of parties exercising power occurred. As a result, implementing democracy is crucial, not installing elements of the market and competition in socialism. People themselves have to decide what they need and how they will produce and distribute this. There must be social-political guiding principles, not principles of supply and purchasing power demand and profit-planning in the enterprises.

5) The central idea is an ideal to be attained in the economy and society. How we get there must depend on the possibilities in today’s reality for reaching this ideal. If the ideal is composed of the categories “solidarity/cooperation/democracy,” two conclusions are inescapable:

1) All structures that repress the principle of “negation of capitalism” must be combated.

2) All elements and structures pointing in the “ideal” direction should be supported and developed.


VIDEO: Dean Baker's "False Profits" on GritTV:

"The Quiet Coup" by Simon Johnson:

VIDEO: Joseph Stiglitz' "Freefall" on BookTV:

link to

"Ways Out of the Crisis" by Jean-Paul Fitoussi and Joseph Stiglitz:

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy