Re: Capitalism, Private Property, etc (was Re: Sweatshops)

From: Neal Blaikie (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 01:49:32 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:

> Let me tell you a little secret about the real world (as opposed to the
> anarchist, socialist world).
> Capitalism prevails because it allows players to have a real and palpable
> stake in the game. That's why the US government encourages citizens to own
> their own homes. Private ownership stabilizes the system by giving people a
> reason *not* to riot, rebel, and revolt. Take away private ownership, and
> people have nothing to lose by burning down the neighborhood (or the whole
> country for that matter). Anarchism is a nice ideal, but it just doesn't pay
> the mortgage, and it never will.

While I've always found anarchism to be compelling as a romantic ideal, it just
doesn't make it in the world we find ourselves living in. Maybe someday it
will. Who knows? Even if we don't subscribe to it as an ideology, I think there
is a lot we can learn from anarchist writers (I like Kropotkin). But then, I
feel that way about most things, and am not easily converted (I tend to
assimilate and/or synthesize what I need). For an excellent examination of how
an anarchist society might actually look (warts and all), I would heartily
recommend Ursula K. Le Guin's novel THE DISPOSSESSED, which was originally
published in 1974. I recently reread it after many years, and her critique of
both anarchism and capitalism still rings true. And it's a great novel (IMHO).


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