[DEBATE] : Austerity etc.
grinker at mweb.co.za
Fri Jul 13 14:11:30 BST 2007
Tahir Wood wrote:
>The fact is that people seek satisfaction and meaning purely through the
(mostly putative) avenue of upward social mobility. The first thing that
someone coming out of the ghetto does is buy flashy clothes, cellphone,
jewellery and car. This is equated with happiness, and even with other
positive values such as beauty.
And who on earth are we to judge this?
>If you have no critique of this kind of world at all, then don't try to
distort the critiques of those who do. You should be learning from them
Why should I have a critique of this? What's wrong with people measuring
happiness on the basis of an accumulation of material things? I happen to
disagree with those who criticise this in ordinary people. I think such
criticism betrays an ill-concealed scorn for the 'vulgar' masses.
>The point of my intervention, for what it was worth, was that austerity
is just not a useful way of thinking about all of this. There will
simply have to be a massive social change if the species is even going
to survive. Science and technology are going to have to be put to other
uses than the value/profit system of capitalism and we are going to have
to develop better measurements for social progress than those that have
been discussed here so far. I hope we can agree on that, and not fall
into the crass capitalist productivism of a Trotsky or whomever.
Well in the absence of any widely-held progressive political outlook that
might form the basis of a different kind of mass consciousness, I see no
alternative to an imposed austerity programme which targets the working
class. Austerity wasn't my word in the first place. Something akin to
war-time austerity was posited by somebody else as a possible solution to
levels of consumption that allegedly give rise to climate change.
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