Thursday, December 20, 2018

Charles McKelvey — What Socialism Can and Can’t Do

It's way too early to tell what socialism can and can't do (tradeoffs) but the experience gained from history, both regarding forms of capitalism and forms of socialism, are instructive. But this is only the beginning stage of the historical dialectic in this regard. Charles McKelvey summarizes the state of this dialectic as he sees it from his perch. It's a good article.

Socialism requires a much higher level of collective consciousness that the forms of capitalism based on "rational" utility maximization on the assumptions of methodological individualism that presuppose extreme ontological individualism. 

Humanity is still in the infantile to adolescent stage of the development of the human species, which is egocentric and lacks empathetic species awareness required for a higher level of morality that socialism requires for a truly socialistic culture and corresponding institutional arrangements. 

This necessitates a "spiritual awakening" to greater universality cognitively, affectively, volitionally, and behaviorally.

But it is happening. There are many factors involved but the outlines of new Zeitgeist are emerging in which social consciousness is increasing and conflicting with the individualistic basis of the current Zeitgeist, at least in the West, that is also infected with tribalism as an evolutionary hangover and the class structure and privilege bequeathed culturally and institutionally by feudalism and its successor, capitalism, the Agricultural and Industrial Ages respectively.

A new wave is rising as the dominant wave crests and begins to break on the shores of time. 

With the Digital Age or Information Age dawning, so it global consciousness owing to the emergence of a "global brain" as a global digital network similar to a neurological system in sentient and intelligent organisms.
Charles McKelvey | Professor Emeritus, Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina

See also
In my research as a psychologist, I’ve found that manipulative appeals from the 1% are often designed to target issues of vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. That’s because these are the core concerns that govern the way we make sense of the world around us. Indeed, each is associated with a basic question we ask in our daily lives: Are we safe? Are we treated fairly? Who should we trust? Are we good enough? Can we control what happens to us? By offering disingenuous answers to these questions, self-serving one-percenters aim to shape our understanding of what’s happening, what’s right, and what’s possible to their own advantage.
Therefore, for any prospect of returning to government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” it will be essential to recognize and resist these plutocratic ploys when they inevitably come our way in 2019 (and beyond). As a guide, then, here are twenty mind games to watch out for in the year ahead....
Get Ready for These Political Mind Games in 2019
Roy Eidelson, PhD | past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, and the author of the new book POLITICAL MIND GAMES: How the 1% Manipulate Our Understanding of What’s Happening, What’s Right, and What’s Possible


Konrad said...

What socialism can and cannot do

“In the present stage of human development, the nations that are seeking to construct socialism cannot fully provide the social and economic rights of the people.”

One reason for this is that socialist nations are under constant attack from neoliberal nations. For example, the island nation of Cuba has been sanctioned, blockaded, and embargoed for sixty years.

Average idiots who attack socialist and semi-socialist nations (like Venezuela) ignore the neoliberal war on those nations.

“In the case of Cuba, for example, full and equal access to education, health, culture, and sport in essence exists. However, there is unequal access to housing and transportation; minimal nutrition is available to all, but there are more options for those with greater financial resources.”

Some degree of social stratification is inevitable in all human societies, no matter how socialist.

Nonetheless, in places like Cuba we do not see the stupendous gulf between the rich and the rest like we see in neoliberal nations.

Neoliberals and their toadies (which include most Americans) claim that Cuba is overrun with homeless people. Cuba does indeed have homeless people, but their number is very small, and they mainly consist of elderly people with substance abuse problems (drugs, alcohol, etc). Some have mental health issues, and do not wish to live in shelters. Cuba has no “tent cities,” and all Cubans (homeless or not) have free education and medical care.

Meanwhile in neoliberal countries, the vast and growing sea of homeless people is created by neoliberalism, and these people have no access to affordable education or health care.

Peasants in neoliberal countries cope with their ever-worsening poverty by attacking socialism. The poorer they become, the more desperately they rationalize their misery by falsely imagining that socialist nations are even worse, and that sanctions, embargoes, and blockades are irrelevant.

By the way, this is just me, but I don’t care for that Counterpunch article. Written by an academic, it sounds academic – i.e. it is very poorly written. Academics fear they won’t be taken seriously unless three fourths of their diction is gibberish and empty verbiage.

Andrew Anderson said...

“In the present stage of human development, the nations that are seeking to construct socialism cannot fully provide the social and economic rights of the people.”

Sounds suspiciously like that lame, old excuse "We can't have true Communism anywhere till we have it everywhere."

Hint to the morally challenged: A just society is a POPULAR society; why then do you advocate for injustice? Such as for privileges for usury?

Konrad said...

I would alter that to read, "We can't have socialism everywhere till it isn't attacked from everywhere."

As things are now throughout most of the world, everyone toils for bankers and rich owners.

Slave-owners use lies to "justify" their tyranny.

Slaves use rationalizations to "justify" their misery.