Desire & Scarcity (was Re: Desire under the Elms)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Jan 30 15:27:17 PST 2000


>Michael Yates wrote:
>>Perhaps I am not understanding this thread, but why would anyone think
>>that communism would deny us our desires?
>Dunno, but some of our resident communists want to deny the very
>concept of desire, apart from some historically contingent
>frustrations of capitalism.

You mean who? You do not have to resort to misrepresentation to make an argument. For instance, I have written: "To sum up, to think of Desire as a dialectical twin of Scarcity and to reject Desire as an abstraction is not the same as denying desireS. In fact, the emancipation of desireS depends upon the abolition of Desire, and this both Marx and Foucault understood very well." Why do you think that rejecting the concept of "Desire as a dialectical twin of Scarcity" is the same as denying desires? In fact, I argued the opposite, as you can plainly see here. Why do you attribute the opposite of my argument to me (or to Carrol)? I am mystified. This must be an invitation to psychoanalysis, but I say, "thank you, but no thank you."

>Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>>I suppose some people think that the world without Scarcity as neoclassical
>>economists define it is _dull_ and _without enjoyment_. Never mind whether
>>it is possible, since both Doug & Eric think it's _undesirable_.
>Where ever did you get this idea? I think that a world "without
>Scarcity as neoclassical economists define it" would still be a world
>with desire, and would be a desirable world. My point has been that
>supplying people with their "basic needs" is not as easy as it
>sounds, since I think it's highly likely that as "needs" are
>satisfied, new "needs" emerge. I don't see how that qualifies as
>being dull or without enjoyment. What I don't understand is how some
>people thing the nature of "basic needs" is so self-evident.
>Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>>On the other hand, Doug says:
>> >I don't
>> >think that's possible, nor do I think it's particularly desirable.
>I don't think it's particularly desirable to imagine an economy that
>does nothing but satisfy basic needs. That's a start, but only a
>start. Ludism, not Luddism, for the masses, I say.

Also, can you demonstrate to me, by using my posts, that I argued, as you allege, that (1) "it is easy to supply people with 'basic needs'"; (2) the postscarcity world is a world without desires; (3) after "'basic needs' are satisfied, new 'needs' do nor emerge"; and (4) it is desirable to "imagine an economy that does nothing but satisfy basic needs"? You can't, can you, since I made no such argument; I didn't even use the phrase "*basic* needs" in my post on "Desire & Scarcity," for that matter.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list