Monday, March 11, 2013

Socialists and Capitalists

I feel some sympathy for the socialists because of their concern for workers, people living in poverty, the weak, and misfits in general, and their resentment of bosses, bigwigs, and bankers.
Of course, many regimes that called themselves socialist quickly stamped out all sorts of non-conformism. The violence of their revolution and of their rule seems like a contradiction of the admirable part of their program. What makes socialists like Che seem like romantic figures to some people? Is it just the violence? The concern for workers? Impatience with the impossibly slow pace of social change? Contrarianism?
Marx's passion for centralized factory-style organization seems thoroughly outdated in the age of the internet. Marxism was a weak critique of capitalism, lacking a real alternative. The proletariat no longer exists, they've been replaced with robots. Now factory workers tend the robots instead of acting as cogs in the vast machine. Questions about ownership of the means of production lack meaning in an age where you can buy, rent, or subcontract nearly any sort of production, and 3d printers promise to democratize production even further.
Even the social democrats who gained power peacefully, lost regard for the non-conformists. High taxes and "social services" don't impress me much.

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