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Monday, July 20, 2015

All Mixed Up

I've substantially revised a piece of mine from a couple years ago on the metaphor of the "mixed economy" and why I don't really think what passes for "capitalism" and "socialism" are political poles rather than democratiziation and anti-democratization. Tell me what you think.

5 comments:

Elias Altvall said...

It could be the fact that I have grown up my entire life in what is alwasys pointed to as the example of Mixed Economy. So I have always, ever since I discovered and became one, thought socialism had to be democratic and based around freedom since capitalism is based around hierarchy and exploitation. So for me it is always weird when people claim that they are seperate things. Especially if one actually looks at the early history of socialism. But democracy, socialism either their more or less the same thing or I need a new word to explain what kind of society I advocate.

Dale Carrico said...

My worry is that the description of the social/welfare democracies as "mixed" denies their integrity and undermines democratizing advocacy for and within them. There have been many self-described socialist systems and capitalist systems that are not democratic, or are at most only marginally so. I don't think a new word is needed so much as a more robust understanding of democracy. Discussions of the democratizing work done under the confused banner of anarchism leads me to the same conclusion, as you know all too well from our prior skirmishing on that topic!

Elias Altvall said...

I actually agree with your ideas about "mixed" economies considering it is based around what for me should be considered a false interpretation of marxian socialism. It is welfare capitalism they mean not "mixed". You might argue that it is some socialist ideas (universal health care, historically water and electric for "free") done in a capitalist way. Calling it "mized" means ignoring other forms of socialism and what socialisms goal is, which is an egalitarian classless society. Then the strategies for getting there is massively different from socialist to socialist.

I believe a more robust understanding of what democracy entails is paramount but I believe equally that we need a more robust understanding about socialism, since currently both terms are now widely used for largely uncompatible things. Like how President Bush and his cohorts said USA was invading Iraq to bring Democracy to the iraqis. Or why should we still consider China a "socialist" state when even if you make the centrally planned argument it fails.

I still believe to this day that anarchisms so called confused banner is largely due to repression and marginalization which leads to crackpot ideas and dumb strategies like a sense of apolitical being which can (and does) leads to the conclusion of no action taken towards change. BUt like you said we have already had that debate a couple of times.

In conclusion what I find fascinating is looking at some people like Jane Addams and John Dewey. BOth were some of the best advocates of democracy in their days and both their conception of democracy was much broader than the representative form that is barren and a joke. In end both of them advocated for socialism in order to become consistent in their democratic advocacy.

Dale Carrico said...

Yay for unexpected Jane Addams and John Dewey shoutouts.

Elias Altvall said...

Jane Addams is one of the most underrated female activists and philosophers in the 19th and early 20th century. If one mentions Deweys politics I feel one must mention Jane Addams.