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Capitalism Bad; Resource Wars

We’ve come here today to provide an answer to the great question: to compete, or to cooperate? As
such, my philosophy is that cooperation is superior to competition as a means of achieving excellence.

What is the heart of the clash between competition and cooperation? In its truest and purest form, it is
the conflict between capitalism and socialism, the ultimate competition, and the ultimate cooperation.
When it comes down to it, do we want to be competing, or do we want to be cooperating? I’ll give you
the answer in 4 steps. But first, let’s start with some definitions.

Socialism: “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of
production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”
(Oxford American Dictionaries, 2010)
True Socialism: Communalism.
Communalism: “the principle or practice of living together and sharing possessions and
responsibilities” (Oxford American Dictionaries, 2010)

Now let’s get into my contentions.

“I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and
dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” Zizek 04
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STEP 1: COMPETITION IS A EUPHAMISM FOR CAPITALISM. Ellen Wood 99


Ellen Meiksins Wood [for many years Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, is the
author of a number of books, including Democracy Against Capitalism and, with Verso, "The Retreat
from Class (which won the Deutscher Prize), The Origin of Capitalism, Peasant-Citizen and Slave and
The Pristine Culture of Capitalism], "The Politics of Capitalism", The Monthly Review, Volume 51,
Number 4, September 1999 (HEG)
This is why it's not enough to say, as some of Brenner's critics have done (including John Foster in the
June issue), that the primacy he gives to competition is contrary to Marx, who insists that competition
doesn't cause capitalism's laws of motion but is simply their external manifestation in the movements of
individual capitals. The point is that no other social form has laws of motion that work through the
mechanisms of competition. No other social form is subject to the imperatives of accumulation and
innovation, which are driven by competition. And competition is the mechanism of capitalism's basic
laws of motion because in capitalism, as in no other system, the irreducible condition of access to the
means of self-reproduction is market-dependence and subjection to market imperatives. We can't even
understand capital's perennial efforts to circumvent competition without taking account of that
irreducible condition of market-dependence and the competitive imperatives that go with it.

“I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and
dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” Zizek 04
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STEP 2: CAPITALISM’S GROWTH INEVITABLY CAUSES RESOURCE WARS ON A


GLOBAL SCALE. Ted Trainer 95
Dr. Ted Trainer [Senior Lecturer (professor), School of Social Work, University of New South Wales
(Australia); lecturer and author of books regarding the transition to a sustainable society. Trainer is the
organizer of "The Simpler Way: Analyses of global problems and the sustainable alternative society"],
“The Conserver Society; Alternatives for sustainability”, pg. 162, Publisher: Zed Books, September 15,
1995, ISBN-10: 1856492753, ISBN-13: 978-1856492751, brackets not in original (HEG)
Peaceful world order in which all can feel secure is totally impossible if there is a determination to
pursue affluence and growth. Everyone wants peace and security, but what the peace movement has
almost entirely overlooked is the fact that if everyone continues to pursue higher material living
standards and G[ross] N[ational] P[roduct] then in the long run there can be no other outcome than more
and more conflict of various kinds. This is simply because there is no possibility of people living as
affluently as the few in rich countries do now, let alone living at the levels we insist on growing to as the
years go by. There is a gigantic struggle going on over the distribution of resources, and this can only
become more intense in future years. Following are some of the types of conflict and violence that
inevitably result. First there is the vicious class conflict that occurs when desperate peasants finally try
to hit back at their exploiters and are met with state violence. About 3 per cent of Third World people
own about 80 per cent of Third World land. They leave much of it idle, and grow crops like carnations
for American supermarkets on the rest. Cattle are air freighted into Haiti, fattened up and air-freighted
out to hamburger outlets, while the infant death rate in Haiti is over twenty times the rate in the rich
countries. When people eventually rebel against conditions like this they usually encounter brutal
repression from state forces operating on behalf of tiny, wealthy and powerful ruling elites. Perhaps
15,000 Guatemalans were killed by agents of the state between 1970 and 1975. And where do these
regimes obtain their guns? Mostly from us, the rich nations. The overdeveloped countries, east and west,
have gone to a great deal of effort to support numerous brutal and greedy regimes in the Third World.
Many of these would have been swept away long ago had it not been for the economic assistance, the
military equipment and the training given to them by the rich countries.

“I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and
dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” Zizek 04
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STEP 3: SOCIALISM FACILITATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION VIA MULTIPLE


MECHANISMS. Nichols 99
Dick Nichols [national co-convener of the Socialist Alliance], Democratic Socialist Perspective,
“Appendix: Can green taxes save the environment?”, July 1999, http://www.dsp.org.au/node/92 (HEG)
That's because the socialist revolution equips society with the key weapons for the war against resource
depletion and pollution by removing the vested interests of the private capitalists. How does this work? Firstly, social
ownership of major industry and the finance sector enables the implementation of emergency plans of
large-scale environmental repair. By eliminating all the contradictory interests of competing capitalists — which make environmentally
effective green taxation such a rarity — it enables policy to be directed straight at the sources of resource depletion and pollution. Secondly,
resources presently squandered on the luxury consumption of the rich can be redirected, helping fund the
vast increase needed in spending on environmental repair and conversion. Thirdly, the elimination of
such a critical underpinning of capitalism as the business secret and patent rights allows the most
environmentally benign technology to be applied across the board, instead of being jealously guarded as
one or two companies' fount of super profits. Fourthly, it empowers the environmental movement,
presently dispersed and fragmented, to concentrate its energies in a permanent and organised crusade
against environmental degradation. Lastly, in the underdeveloped countries, it opens the way to large-
scale land reform, which is the precondition for relieving the environmental pressure superficially due to
"rural overpopulation".

“I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and
dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” Zizek 04
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STEP 4: COOPERATION’S ULTIMATE MANIFESTATION IS SOCIALISM.AmbroseBierce92


Ambrose Bierce, "The collected works of Ambrose Bierce", Volume XI, Chapter 1: "The shadow on the
dial", Page 17, Copyright 1912 by The Neal Publishing Company (HEG)
Socialism and Anarchism are parts of the same thing, in the sense that the terminal points of a road are
parts of the same road. Between them, about midway, lies the sys- tem that we have the happiness to
endure. It is a " blend " of Socialism and Anarchism in about equal parts: all that is not one is the other.
Cooperation is Socialism; competi- tion is Anarchism. Competition carried to its logical conclusion
(which only coopera- tion prevents or can prevent) would leave no law in force, no property possible, no
life secure. Of course the wordls " cooperation " and " competition " are not here used in a merely
industrial and commercial sense; they are in- tended to cover the whole field of human act- ivity. Two
voices singing a duet — that is cooperation — Socialism. Two voices singing each a different tune and
trying to drown each other — that is competition — Anarchism;

In conclusion, the choice before you today is thus: to embrace capitalism with competition or socialism
with cooperation. With capitalism comes the retrenchment of a poverty state with no hope of recovery.
With socialism comes the very heart of recovery and opportunity to the poor that capitalism inherently
lacks. Thank you.

“I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and
dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” Zizek 04