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Practical Solutions!

Ha ha! I am going to post a good ol’ commie program, first floated by Loren Goldner on his “Break Their Haughty Power” website… but before I do I want to give you a link to a remarkable story that happened in Spain, where a guy borrowed from banks nearly a half million Euros (ostensibly for businesses and personal needs) and managed to dispense most of it to various radical projects before disappearing from Spain and liquidating his “empire.” He dedicated it to projects that are geared to revealing the dynamics of financial chicanery and exploitation in these times, in a very Robin Hood-esque maneuver. It’s fascinating to read, and to imagine how semi-easy it probably is to reproduce some version of this…

Anyway, here’s the program, as promised. It’s not something that I necessarily agree with in toto, but a huge part of it makes good sense as an alternative to all the dumb blather about how to “fix” the capitalist credit market and manage the massive deleveraging that’s underway… Obviously his call for a  nuclear fusion program is pretty crackpot, and the whole abstract call for a program in the absence of movements for which this might provide practical direction also seems a bit odd… But here I am doing it myself!

An immediate program: to be implemented by a world soviet in power following successful world revolution.  Very heady thinking, do doubt, but the intention is to provide a “heuristic device” for how such a world soviet would act. In an economy as decadent as the U.S., for example, where probably 80% of all “work” would be eliminated in short order as socially useless or socially noxious, I think it is difficult for most people to imagine a “different world” and most of the legacy of the old left merely calls for the “democratic management” or “workers’ control” of this one. So here goes.

The first task of such a soviet would be to organize the global transition out of the production of value (in Marx’s sense of value).

What we need is a basic grasp of the total resources available on a world scale, in terms of existing labor power and means of production, to effect such a transition. The cost of reproducing world society in today’s terms is the “foundation” of a measure of “fictitious capital”. Here is the minimum, “first 100 days” program:

I. abolition of the dollar standard, etc. and an “organized deflation” of the world economy

II. abolition of all socially unnecessary and noxious labor

III. retraining of the work force freed by II.

IV. global expansion to uplift world population to an acceptable worldwide standard of living

V. shortening of the working day

VI) transition out of the automobile/ steel/ oil economy; dismantling of the urban/ suburban/exurban sprawl produced by the needs of that economy;

Tentative Final Remarks

Here are further programmatic points, offering more detail within the above framework,  for this victorious world soviet, very tentative. They amount to “Chapter 11″ bankruptcy proceedings for the capitalist system.

In abolishing fictitious capital, we impose “global accounting standards” or “world resource accounting” to take an “inventory” of total existing means of production and labor power, in terms of use values (The goal is pushing all production beyond the necessity of exchange, so that social “measurement” occurs neither in price nor in labor-time but is strictly in use-value terms of real goods and services produced. )

1) implementation of a program of technology export to equalize upward the Third World.

2) creation of a minimum threshold of world income.

3) dismantling of the oil- auto- steel complex, shifting to mass transport and trains.

4) abolish the bloated sector of the military; police; state bureaucracy; corporate bureaucracy; prisons; FIRE; (finance- insurance- real estate); security guards; intelligence services.

5) taking the labor power freed by this to begin retraining and reeducation around real needs.

6) crash programs around energy: nuclear fusion power, solar, wind, etc.

7)  application of  the “more is less” principle to as much as possible. (examples: satellite phones supersede land-line technology in the Third World, cheap CDs supersede expensive stereo systems, etc.)

8) a concerted world agrarian program aimed at using food resources of the US, Canada, Europe and developing Third World agriculture.

9)  integration of industrial and agricultural production, and the of breakup of megalopolitan concentration of population. This implies the abolition of suburbia and exurbia, and radical transformation of cities. The implications of this for energy consumption are profound.

10) automation of all drudgery that can be automated.

11) generalization of access to computers and education for full working-class participation in global and regional planning.

12)  free health and dental care.

13)  integration of education with production.

14) the shift of R+D currently connected with the unproductive sector into productive use

15) the great increase in productivity of labor makes as many basic goods as possible free, thereby freeing all workers (e.g. cashiers, etc.) involved in collecting money and accounting for it.

16) global shortening of work week.

I’ll be back blogging more soon… The Feast was a huge amount of work, pretty satisfying since it went well, but it left me behind several eight balls, not the least of which is our homestretch on the Shaping SF wiki. So a couple more weeks of crazy hours and then I think I’ll get back to a better pace with more time and space to ponder the fascinating history that’s unfolding all around us. The election is of course sucking all the oxygen out of the room… but I’m still breathing… hope you are too!

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