Friday, February 26, 2016

Pete Dolack — What Might a Cooperative Economy Actually Look Like?


More questions than answers, but necessary questions to explore.

The organizational model underlying "capitalism" has been worked out over a long period of time and has adapted to changing context. Gaming a different model that scales is a daunting challenge.

The range of political theory has laissez-faire capitalism (market state) at the extreme right and totalitarian communism (command economy) at the extreme left. The next pair is managed capitalism (which is presently dominant in much of the world, represented by neoliberalism) and managed socialism (as in China now). The next pair is social democracy (Nordic model, welfare state) and democratic socialism (cooperative society based on humanism, which the author seems to be exploring).

The dialectic in the West is presently between neoliberalism as a type of managed capitalism and social democracy. Neoliberalism is still dominant, but social democracy is making a comeback politically with the rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, for instance. This is the likely course of history at this point.

Anarchism is another alternative. It has left and right expressions. Since anarchism assumes transcendence of the state, it is purely philosophical at this point in time, given the global context and historical dialectic.

Counterpunch
What Might a Cooperative Economy Actually Look Like?
Pete Dolack

See also Susan Babbitt, Why Philosophy Mattered (and Should Still Matter) to Revolutionaries, at Counterpunch.

There's also a difference between knowledge and wisdom, which is why there is a need for liberal education that balances science and mathematics with the arts and humanities.

7 comments:

Andrew Anderson said...

A cooperative economy would have no subsidies/privileges* for private credit creation since these allow those with equity to bypass the need to share that equity with workers and the general population or to honestly borrow money from them.


*Such as only allowing commercial banks, credit unions, etc. to have (inherently risk-free) accounts at the central bank instead of allowing individual, business, local government, etc. accounts too. This is very peculiar since fiat is a Nation's money and all citizens should therefore be allowed to have fiat accounts (aka accounts at the central bank), one would think.

Neil Wilson said...

"A cooperative economy would have no subsidies/privileges* for private credit creation since these allow those with equity to bypass the need to share that equity with workers and the general population or to honestly borrow money from them."

Not sure where you get that from.

Private credit creation happens all the time. Everybody does it. It's the way trade works. We discount and swap debts between ourselves.

Central bank accounts don't really alter that. It's just a clearing house for banks. Whatever magic you think it is doing, it isn't.

Andrew Anderson said...

It's [a central bank] just a clearing house for banks. Neil Wilson

And that's precisely the problem. Fiat is a Nation's money and therefore individual citizens, businesses, organizations, local governments, etc. should be allowed to have inherently risk-free accounts at their respective central banks too.

Not only that but deposit insurance should be abolished too since it would no longer be necessary.

Whatever magic you think it is doing, it isn't. Neil Wilson

The lack of individual citizen, business, organization, local government, etc. accounts at the central bank mean that the liabilities of the commercial banks, credit unions, etc. for reserves are largely virtual wrt individual citizens, businesses, organizations, local governments, etc. since physical fiat (coins and paper) is a very poor, unsafe alternative to what would be inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank.

Andrew Anderson said...

Private credit creation happens all the time. Neil Wilson

The problem is government-privileges for private credit creation such as the lack of individual citizen, business, organization, local government, etc. accounts at the central bank and government-provided deposit insurance.

Neil Wilson said...

"The problem is government-privileges for private credit creation such as the lack of individual citizen, business, organization, local government, etc. accounts at the central bank and government-provided deposit insurance"

No it isn't.

Andrew Anderson said...

No it isn't. Neil Wilson

Government subsidies/privileges for private credit creation favor those with the most equity since those are the most so-called worthy of government-subsidized private credit. And those subsidies/privileges do so at the expense, relative at least, of those with less equity. This is undeniable.

But the topic here is what a cooperative economy would look like and that certainly does not include government privileges/subsidies for those with the most equity unless we desire run-away wealth inequality, which we have had, btw. How does that promote cooperation?

But regardless, how do you justify government-provided deposit insurance instead of inherently risk-free accounts for all at the central bank? Why should commercial banks, credit unions and other usurers have special privileges? Why shouldn't individual citizens be allowed to deal with their Nation's money, fiat, other than with mere physical fiat, coins and paper bills?

Andrew Anderson said...

Neoliberalism is still dominant, but social democracy is making a comeback politically ... Tom Hickey

Naturally. The so-called worthy of government-subsidized private credit eventually create too many problems for the rest of the population to put up with.

But then why is social democracy ever replaced? Why is socialism so hated that people only choose it when desperate? And then eventually reject it?

Isn't it time to try something different? Isn't eliminating the privileged position of usurers and the most so-called creditworthy something that's never really been tried? At least not in the US since we've NEVER* had fiat accounts available to the general population - leaving it at the mercy of a usury cartel or to deal with unsafe, unweildy physical fiat, coins and paper bills?

*A Postal Savings Service does not count since citizens are not allowed to deal with accounts in fiat (aka reserves) but like with accounts at commercial banks, etc. only with liabilities to fiat, a huge difference.