This bit of ridiculously regressive Luddism was posted on a left leaning blog. It touts “A Solidarity Economy”. Which is a nice name for voluntary organizations that circumvent the pricing system. Yet another example of enduring marxist silliness.
There is no alternative to free-market capitalism, Margaret Thatcher used to say, and about this, like so many things, she was wrong.
What is the Solidarity Economy? It’s a movement that has brought hope to a world disillusioned by capitalism and too often unaware that economic activity can be conducted with respect for human decency and the planet on which we live. Its five key principles are solidarity, sustainability, equity in all dimensions, participatory democracy and pluralism.
The role of these initiatives is certainly up for debate. Consumer cooperatives are vulnerable to criticism as being somewhat exclusive. Some models of cooperative housing are not particularly sustainable. But the wide variety of Solidarity Economy practices ensures that successful models are emerging, with success based not just on economic viability, but on social and ecological responsibility.
The transformative power of the Solidarity Economy is that it can grow within the current economic system, eventually replacing it with a more human way of providing for society’s needs.
You can use meaningless terms yet conveniently rely on a lack of detail to gloss over yet another permutation of communal sentiments. But no matter how many times you rephrase the same tired fantasies, you will not alter the hard reality that will face any participants in this fanciful silly Marxist doctrine: 1) A lack of incentives. 2) a lack of competitiveness 3) human limits to consensus on means and methods 4) human tendency towards bureaucratic corruption 5) the natural slowness of the system. Essentially you would doom everyone involved to perpetual poverty.
These are good models for knitting circles, volunteer organizations, the uncompetitive, and the dull and ignorant, for whom market signals in the form of prices are too abstract to synthesize, and who do not have to manage scarce resources. In other words they are good for small networks within a capitalist system for the purpose of organizing members of a permanent submissive underclass.
Any system capable of the current productive diversity must be of necessity incomprehensible. The market exists to handle incomprehensibility. And it functions despite incomprehensibility, anonymity, compassion or care. Within the wealth that is generated by capitalism, it is certainly possible to carry vast numbers of people who consume the benefits of the market without participating in it.
But make no mistake that such fantastic extra-market lifestyles are luxuries provided BY THE MARKET, not alternatives to it.
But if you want to throw the poor kiddies a bone so that the can lie to themselves that they’re special and principled rather than impotent and subsidized i suppose amidst the political discourse its no more harmless or harmful than any other drivel.