USA: More Repressive Than North Korea (was Re: RES: a trip to

Gordon Fitch gcf at
Wed Apr 26 14:00:32 PDT 2000

Michael Perelman wrote:
> >I think that the measure of freedom should be the extent that people have
> >the opportunity to develop their abilities and capacities to the greatest
> >possible extent.

> The measure of freedom is *also* the extent to which people have the
> opportunity to collectively shape the political and economic policies of
> their society. Capitalism means sacrificing our capacity for collective
> self-determination in favor of maximizing personal self-determination.
> ...

Capitalism, at least in its historical actuality, does not maximize personal self-determination; most of the participants (working-class people as employees, consumers and objects of government attention) are collectivized into institutions and processes under the control of others (the bourgeoisie). The bourgeoisie themselves are strongly constrained by the need to get and keep their power, wealth, and social position. The behavior of the system as a whole is often attributed, not to human will, but to the mysteries of nature. On the whole, there is a marked absence of self-determination of any kind.

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